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The moral legacy bequeathed by her beloved father (who was killed in a car crash in 1981) has no doubt informed her whole political career. Her more recent explicit concern for the poor and those “just about managing” (now dubbed the “Jams”) was fired up by another man. Nick Timothy first came to work for her when she was still in opposition. He is the son of a steel worker and a school secretary. Raised in Birmingham, he took a First in politics at Sheffield University, which he is said to have chosen because he thought that living there would be cheaper than anywhere else. Timothy is suspicious of the Establishment (he had numerous set-tos with the Cameroons), pro-Brexit, and communitarian rather than libertarian in his political beliefs. For him the Conservatives are the natural party of the working class. He is an example of that relatively rare breed — a Tory intellectual.

More than anyone else, Timothy has shaped and refined Theresa May’s ideology — as well as, according to Prince, exhorting her to be more clubbable. It is he who is the fount of rhetoric about helping ordinary people, though we may be sure she believes it from the bottom of her heart. Still only 37, Timothy is a joint chief of staff at Number Ten. The other chief of staff is a Scottish former journalist, Fiona Hill, no less viscerally loyal to Mrs May, who also won battle honours scrapping with the Cameroons, especially Michael Gove. Hill is no intellectual slouch, having been the mainspring of the 2015 Modern Slavery Act (designed to counter trafficking and slavery in Britain) which Mrs May pushed through as Home Secretary.

One could scarcely exaggerate the importance of these two people in the Prime Minister’s — and the nation’s — life. When they were separately forced to resign after run-ins with the Cameroons towards the end of her time as Home Secretary, she was bereft. They were reinstalled as soon as she entered Number Ten. One source quoted by Prince told the Guardian that Mrs May won’t come to a firm view in front of officials. “She goes away for an hour with Nick and Fiona and — boing! — a decision is made.” The third member of the Prime Minister’s inner circle is her husband Philip, whose opinion is often sought. In policy terms he is possibly the least influential of the triumvirate, but in other respects he has been her rock since Oxford days.

It is one thing to stretch out a hand to hard-pressed ordinary people, quite another to offer them concrete help at a time when the Exchequer is hardly overflowing with loose cash. If anything, Philip Hammond’s recent Budget, with its ill-judged and ham-fistedly presented provision for higher national insurance payments for the self-employed, went out of its way to penalise some of the very “Jams” with whom Mrs May had identified. (The reaction in the press may have been all the more incandescent because so many columnists are self-employed, an inconvenient fact the Chancellor may have overlooked.) Nor did the government’s somewhat cavalier hike in business rates in the south of England seem obviously calculated to assist those scraping by, though Mr Hammond did toss them a few sweeteners in his Budget.

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July 22nd, 2017
11:07 AM
I`ve changed my mind about Theresa May. I voted for Brexit and the Labour Party.

April 19th, 2017
1:04 PM
It`s good news Theresa May isn`t doing tv debates. The other party leaders are professionally jealous of her and can only rattle their bins noisily. George Osbourne is actually leading the retreat of the anti-Mayists. The majority of voters will give Theresa May her mandate.

April 18th, 2017
5:04 PM
After her announcement for June 8 Theresa May has my vote. 17.4 million Brexiteers may well have already decided to vote for her.

April 3rd, 2017
10:04 PM
George `Tampon Tax` Osborne claims the tax will raise £15 million to fund women`s organisations. £250,000 is going to the anti-abortion propaganda organisation Life. It`s deeply shameful and a disgrace. Osborne could pay the £15 million himself. Who in the Tory Party thinks it`s a great idea to tax the periods of girls and women ? Perhaps Theresa May could answer Suzanne Moore at the Guardian. Osborne is now also editor of a London junk mail freebie. It was his cocaine addicted banker friends in the City that caused the crash/robbery. He shares in their delusions of adequacy. The Brexit liberation needs no Osbornes in the Tory Party.

Arnie Ward
April 3rd, 2017
11:04 AM
In the opening paragraph Glover could have replaced the phrase "before going down from university" with a single word understood everywhere, "graduating". Such a quaint and anachronistic turn of phrase.

March 30th, 2017
4:03 PM
Theresa May is indeed mistress of all she surveys. Thanks to 17.4 million Brexiteers she`s now Prime Minister. The Remnants will never forgive us for destroying their illusion that they are the progressives and rebels. They are historical junk merchants. It doesn`t matter if Theresa May voted Remain. She`s now sincerely enacting the will of the people as Prime Minister. She should replace student nurse loans with grants. She should initiate a council house building project. She should fund Womens Refuges. Materialist solutions. At present which political party is even capable of delivering a pizza ? The glorious, chaotic dawn and magnificent Brexit victory was a civil war without muskets. No one at the BBC will say so. The artist Anish Kapoor is heartbroken in his Remainia. But it`s him and his set who are the small minds, small hearts (the Art Newspaper). The Ponces (as Julie Burchill has it). It`s entirely up to Theresa May and her team to prove the Tory Party can be other than `the Nasty Party`. She`s up for it and will probably get my vote in a General Election.

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