Time to ‘simmer down’ about leadership, says Steve Baker (and CfL)

Speaking on the Daily Politics this morning Steve Baker, having recently resigned from his post as Undersecretary of State for Exiting the European Union, was clear that now is not the time to challenge Theresa May’s leadership of the Conservative Party.

His reasoning is sound: a leadership election would take three months. Three precious months that are needed for Brexit negotiations. And even then, as Baker points out, the parliamentary arithmetic would stay the same – and we definitely don’t want (and don’t have time for) a General Election.

As much as we are dissatisfied with May’s handling of the Brexit negotiations so far, this logic is inescapable. The moment has passed.

So what was the point in resigning? It was pretty obvious to anyone who saw Baker’s performance on the Daily Politics today – unleashed from the gag of government, he explained precisely why the deal agreed at Chequers is not what the country voted for two years ago.

His call to action was straightforward: “What we need to do is win an argument and persuade people”.

We worked side by side on the EU referendum campaign to get the result we wanted. Now it’s time for us to work together again to make sure the Brexit vision we voted for is the one that we get.