Theresa May will convene her Cabinet at Chequers next week to try and thrash out an agreement on the government’s approach to Brexit. And everything is going swimmingly.
The expectation is that the prime minister will not make it to the next election as Tory leader and half the Cabinet is on manoeuvres. In public.
Liz Truss v Gavin Williamson
Liz Truss, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, attacked her “macho” Cabinet colleagues on Wednesday evening for thinking their job was to simply “demand more money” for their departments.
It came after Gavin Williamson was reported to demand Theresa May to give the Ministry of Defence an extra £20bn. The defence secretary is said to have threatened to bring down the prime minister if she refused. “I made her — I can break her”, the Mail on Sunday reported him as having warned.
... and Sajid Javid
Truss’s comment has also been seen as a swipe at Sajid Javid. The home secretary has himself been demanding more money for the police when Chancellor Philip Hammond unveils his Budget in the autumn.
... and Michael Gove
In her speech to the London School of Economics, Truss mocked the “hot air” coming from Defra. She said government should not be trying to stop voters “enjoying the warm glow of our wood-burning Goves…I mean stoves”.
The environment secretary had floated the idea of banning wood-burning stoves in order to crack down on pollution.
In the original text of her speech uploaded to the Treasury website, Truss mocked Gove for trying to ban “drinking from disposable cups through plastic straws”. But she did not deliver the line.
... and Jeremy Hunt
There’s more. “Government’s role should not be to tell us what our tastes should be,” Truss said.
“Too often we’re hearing about not drinking too much,” she said, or “eating too many doughnuts”.
Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, is said to want to introduce a minimum price for alcohol and is cracking down on obesity.
Damian Hinds v Liz Truss
Damian Hinds, the education secretary, hit back at Truss on Wednesday morning. He told the Commons Education Committee he needed “to make sure that we have the level of resourcing we would all expect for our children and the nation’s children”.
He said: “I’m not sure how ‘macho’ fits in with these things.”
Greg Clark v Boris Johnson
“Fuck business,” Boris Johnson is reported to have said amid concerns in the corporate world about the sort of Brexit favoured by the foreign secretary.
Business secretary Greg Clark was unimpressed. British firms, he told MPs, should be “listened to with respect” when it came to Brexit.
... and Jeremy Hunt
Clark’s public rebuke was also aimed directly at Jeremy Hunt, who had told the BBC it was “completely inappropriate” for Airbus to warn the government’s Brexit policy would lead to job losses in the UK.
Boris Johnson v Philip Hammond
Jonhson was secretly recorded in June attacking Philip Hammond’s Treasury as “the heart of Remain” trying to ruin Brexit by keeping the UK closely aligned to the EU.
Philip Hammond v Boris Johnson
The Chancellor struck back quickly in public. He used his high profile Mansion House speech to warn the UK needed to maintain “low friction borders and open markets” with the EU.
“That does not make the Treasury, on my watch, ‘the enemy of Brexit’,” he said. “Rather, it makes it the champion of prosperity for the British people outside the EU, but working and trading closely with it.”
Oh and also today, the leader of the Welsh Conservatives, Andrew RT Davies, unexpectedly quit.