View all newsletters
Sign up to our newsletters

Support 110 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
  2. The Staggers
22 October 2018updated 07 Jun 2021 4:19pm

What Andrea Leadsom’s resignation really means

By Stephen Bush

Andrea Leadsom has resigned from the government, quitting her post as Leader of the House, citing Theresa May’s flirtation with a second referendum and the shared regulatory autonomy proposed by the withdrawal agreement as the reasons for her exit.

As far as the pressure on Theresa May is concerned, it in practice changes very little: she can, if she so desires, continue on as leader of an increasingly moribund government, struggling to fill the gaps, until either the grace period bought by the confidence vote brought against her in December expires, or the Conservative party rewrites its rulebook to oust her ahead of time.

But it might change things as far as the race to replace May is concerned. Leadsom is a longtime Brexiteer who won considerable plaudits for her campaigning in the last referendum, and although her last bid for the party leadership ended in ignominy, she has partially rebuilt her reputation as leader of the House, partly because of her frequent clashes with John Bercow, the Speaker, and partly because she has put a shift on defending the government on the airwaves, particularly the Today programme.

She will hope that her exit boosts her credentials among the diehard Leavers who were once her base while her attempts to be constructive in office will make a potential home for MPs who want to stop any candidate who they regard as an irreconcilable headbanger from reaching the final ballot of members.

Content from our partners
The hard truth about soft skills
Why we need a national employment service
A new solution to the UK’s skills challenge

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via Our Thursday ideas newsletter, delving into philosophy, criticism, and intellectual history. The best way to sign up for The Salvo is via Stay up to date with NS events, subscription offers & updates. Weekly analysis of the shift to a new economy from the New Statesman's Spotlight on Policy team.
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.