James Heappey Weekly Column

This is the last column I'll write whilst Theresa May is our Prime Minister. By the time this paper is published next week, the Queen will have called for the winner of our party's leadership election to see her at Buckingham Palace and invited him to form a Government. I've been backing Boris Johnson during the campaign and I hope that he will be successful - I think he's the only candidate who can deliver Brexit, stop Jeremy Corbyn and unite our country. However, whether it be Boris or Jeremy Hunt, most of all I'm looking forward to Parliament and Government clunking back into gear and moving the Brexit process forwards again.

In her interview with the BBC last week, Theresa May said that she'd take great pride in her many achievements but have a deep sense of regret that she couldn't get Brexit cracked. Most people I've met around Somerset seem to understand the incredibly difficult position she was in. Some even say she had an impossible task. Almost all, therefore, have some (sometimes begrudging) respect for the way she's stuck to the task amidst the political tumult.

Many books will be written about the degree to which that tumult was of her own making. Should she have called a General Election in 2017? Should she have managed expectations better once our parliamentary majority was lost? Was the Chequers proposal ever going to succeed? Once the deal was unveiled, was it sold properly? Even now, do all parliamentarians genuinely understand what's in it!?

For now though, I'll simply use this column to say that irrespective of whatever she's got wrong, she has served her country with great determination and a sense of duty that should inspire all in public office - whether we agree with her or not.