UK 4 October 2017 Please enjoy these Tories' heroically insincere praise for Theresa May's speech “It went well, we're all very pleased,” muttered a Conservative source, trying to hold back tears. The backdrop to Theresa May's speech. Photo: Getty Sign UpGet the New Statesman's Morning Call email. Sign-up Theresa May just bludgeoned her way through a conference nightmare. First, a heckler interrupted her, giving her a P45. Then she started to cough, and eventually it got so bad that the hall gave her a sympathetic ovation while Philip Hammond handed her a cough sweet. Finally, bits of the sign behind her started to fall off. Whatever you think of May, this was extremely bad luck - and understandably has crowded out discussion of the (small scale) policy announcements she made on housing and energy. Now, as a loyal Conservative minister, there are two ways to respond to this. First is what you might call the "silver lining" approach, exemplified by Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson: If ever the PM needed a metaphor for service and duty and resolution through adversity, that battling performance was it! Huge respect. — Ruth Davidson (@RuthDavidsonMSP) October 4, 2017 Good-humoured, sensible, acknowledging the horrorshow but trying to find the positive. But there is another way. A way that makes you sound so totally disconnected from reality that it's hard to tell if you're being crushingly sincere or, in fact, taking the piss: BREAKING Michael Gove, the Environment secretary, tells me: "I witnessed a great speech from a Prime Minister at top of her game." — Christopher Hope (@christopherhope) October 4, 2017 No, come on, Michael. Really. Lay it on sliiiiightly less thick and you'd get away with it. Theresa May is the ultimate public servant - showing her poise, persistence and dignity once again, which is why we respect her. — Robert Jenrick MP (@RobertJenrick) October 4, 2017 Borderline, but ultimately acceptable. Incredibly powerful, passionate speech by PM. Bright, optimistic, addressing major social challenges, esp. housing. Renewing British Dream — Sajid Javid (@sajidjavid) October 4, 2017 Sajid Javid, I had expected better of you. No more rubbish about the #Maybot - a raw, brave, plucky & open speech showing @theresa_may has heart, resolve & strength. #TrueLeadership — MimsDaviesMP (@mimsdavies) October 4, 2017 A. New. Challenger. Enters! Thank you, Mims, MP for Eastleigh. Tory source: "It was a good speech and she [the PM] was happy with the way it went" — John Stevens (@johnestevens) October 4, 2017 Wow, that is a Low Bar to clear. Still, good to know someone is asking the right questions. Tory MP confirms that Theresa May was NOT singing kareoke last night. — Ellie Price (@EllieJPrice) October 4, 2017 › Conservative conference: Theresa May struggles towards the finishing line I'm a mole, innit. Subscribe For daily analysis & more political coverage from Westminster and beyond subscribe for just £1 per month!