Why would anyone want to be Tory leader, a job with constant headaches and zero prospects

Who applies for a role with no job security?

Rishi Sunak is the Prime Minister and, whatever happens with his life, that will always be on Wikipedia. It will mention he took over after a period of mass resignations, scandals, and police fines and, through a new approach, delivered more of the same.

The nation expects to go to the polls next year and, by all accounts, is very much looking forward to it, with support for both an immediate election and ousting Mr Sunak from office. The son of a pharmacist will outlast Liz Truss, but still have a reign which is more Gordon Brown than Tony Blair.

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It wasn’t supposed to be like this. Mr Sunak was supposed to be the smart choice, the moderate option, a man who originally lost out to Ms Truss for having the temerity to admit the economy was a bit rocky, and you couldn’t solve it by simply loving Britain.

That honesty cost him the first leadership race, a lesson he has clearly learned with his delusional and dishonest pursuit of the Rwanda scheme, something costing the British taxpayer more than £200 million. It has achieved nothing but an orgy of criticism from anyone with two brain cells and a sense of decency.

What will be most galling for the current Prime Minister is that he will not have been brought down by a dynamic and inspiring Labour party, but rather his own policies and his own MPs, as seems to be the fashion for Conservative leaders these days.

In tying himself to the Rwanda scheme, Mr Sunak has created a rod for his own back, a promise nobody thinks will work, and one that’s too extreme for Tory moderates, and not mad enough for his party’s right.

He goes into the week braced for a vote on his reformed bill, a 12-page document which does nothing to address the concerns raised by the Supreme Court. Asylum seekers in Rwanda still have no legal access, still no ability to appeal, and it's not judged safe. It also directs UK courts to disapply aspects of domestic law and prevents judges from considering relevant international law that the UK signed up to, which is, in my informed political view, absolutely insane.

The key question here is, why is he doing it? He’s a multi-millionaire married to a billionaire, does he really want to spend his time making it harder for people to flee persecution, with a bunch of colleagues who hate him.

He could be on an island, he could be doing tech stuff in San Francisco, he could literally be doing anything but this. Instead Mr Sunak spends his days announcing things that won’t happen, or promising changes his own party vow to oppose.

It also makes you wonder why some Tories are keen to replace him, knowing they’re not getting the same accommodation, and the job title is changing to leader of the opposition.

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The Tories used to be a well-oiled machine, if not winning the argument then winning the war, knowing exactly when to stick and when to twist.

Having forced out three leaders they’re now working on a fourth, for a lesser job with worse prospects. It’s a thankless task, and nobody sensible should want it.



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