Perfect antidote to macho No10… a woman prime minister | The Sun
COMETH the hour, cometh the woman.
Or rather, the women — for three of the leading Tories tipped to replace the Prime Minister are Liz Truss, Priti Patel and Penny Mordaunt.
Any of them would be just what we now need to sweep away the macho culture that has taken hold of Downing Street.
Boris Johnson has achieved a lot in three years in No10, ending the Brexit deadlock, overseeing our world-beating Covid vaccines rollout and leading the West’s support for Ukraine.
But the boosterism everyone fell in love with has also come with a side of bluff and bluster.
Boris’s administration has stumbled from scandal to scandal, failing to get a grip on accusations of sleaze.
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That’s why I believe that a female PM would be the perfect antidote.
It’s hard to see any of the women now being touted as the next Tory leader protecting gropers — or colleagues who have breached lobbying rules.
And we know women are better in times of turmoil. Level-headed thinking and collective leadership are exactly what we need to combat the cost-of-living crisis, which looks set to bite even harder this winter.
The Conservative Party has a good record with senior women at the top — we produced both of our country’s only ever female Prime Ministers — the late Margaret Thatcher then Theresa May.
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We might now get a third before Labour manage to elect their first female leader.
And just look at the current Cabinet, with Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and Home Secretary Priti Patel holding two of the great offices of state.
These trailblazing women have proved they can do their jobs every bit as well as men, even while also juggling responsibilities as mothers.
Attorney General Suella Braverman and former Equalities Minister Kemi Badenoch, who are also in the running for the Tory leadership, are mums too.
All of these women, then, are master jugglers — and all the more impressive in my eyes.
While I’d be happy with any of the women getting the top job, Liz Truss has my vote.
As Foreign Secretary she has done what all men before her failed to do and secured the release of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe after six years’ detention in Iran — a notable achievement. She has also been tough on Russia and in her previous role as International Trade Secretary she negotiated key post-Brexit trade deals.
Liz once told me that while she understands there are battles in life, you can’t fight them all. But she likes a good scrap and is not afraid to stand up for herself and her beliefs.
Oh, and she believes in low taxes. I have no doubt that she would strive to give this country a better future.
Then there’s Trade Minister Penny Mordaunt, who is a radically different character. She has a showbiz flair — having once been a magician’s assistant, not to mention appearing on TV wearing a swimsuit on celebrity diving show Splash!.
She was once voted Britain’s Sexiest MP. But it would be a mistake to underestimate her. In 2019 she became the UK’s first ever female Defence Secretary, and as a Trade Minister puts in strong performances at the dispatch box. She ticks all the boxes for leadership with her tough, no-nonsense style.
This is similar to Priti, who is said to be considering a tilt at No10.
She is sometimes criticised for being cool and aloof. But that rankles with me. How often is this levelled at a male politician?
Talk of Liz, Priti and Penny’s leadership credentials has swirled around the corridors of power for months.
But this week surprise candidates Suella and Kemi threw their hats into the ring.
They are both exciting prospects.
Suella is said to have “iron resolve and authenticity”.
Her parents are from Mauritius and Kenya and she says that when they moved to the UK in the 1960s it gave her family hope, security and opportunity.
Suella is somewhat of an outsider in the leadership race but has a passion for Brexit and an abhorrence for “woke nonsense” — which I like.
I know Kemi the least of all the women in the frame.
The emerging Tory star is probably another outsider but she has spirit and it’s said she would “cross the road to pick a fight”.
I quite like that in a person.
But the truth is, these women are all admirable. They all love what they do and are excellent politicians.
Thatcher once said: “I owe nothing to Women’s Lib.” Perhaps she meant she owed none of her success to being a woman. But I wouldn’t be too sure about that.
If the next Tory leader is a woman, that can only be good news.
Kim’s bad cover version
I HAD to laugh at the images of Kim Kardashian leaving the Balenciaga Couture dinner in Paris wearing a sequined black dress . . . and a black mask that covered her entire face.
Do you think someone was winding her up, telling her this is the height of fashion?
It looks ridiculous.
But I do have one theory. Maybe she was having one of those days when she simply couldn’t be bothered to put any on make-up.
Actually, on reflection, maybe I need one of these in my life.
I LOVE the fact that Beatle Ringo Starr, who is 82, and wife Barbara Bach, 74, have been married for more than four decades.
It’s the opposite of rock ’n’ roll really, isn’t it?
But in the pictures of the couple celebrating his 82nd birthday, below, they look so happy – and also about 20 years younger than they are.
I guess that’s the power of true love and happiness for you.
Okay to love again
AT the end of her life, actress Helen McCrory told husband Damian Lewis that she wanted him to find love again.
She said to him and their two children: “I want Daddy to have girlfriends, lots of them, you must all love again, love isn’t possessive, but you know, Damian, try at least to get through the funeral without snogging someone.”
Now, 14 months after he lost his beloved wife to breast cancer, Damian has confirmed his romance with singer Alison Mosshart.
The couple have been seen together various times over the past couple of weeks, including at private members’ club The House of KOKO’s summer party last week.
I once met Helen and she struck me as highly intelligent, creative, passionate and talented, so it does not surprise me that she wanted her husband to be as happy with any new partner as he was clearly with her.
I am pleased he has found someone.
He deserves it after such a harrowing time.
DEMO IS ARTLESS
I FIND it difficult to sympathise with the climate protesters who glued themselves to the frame of a 19th-century painting in Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Art Gallery.
The women, from the group Just Stop Oil, claimed they did not intend to damage the painting itself but refused to budge until they were eventually taken into custody by cops.
In London, another group of protesters targeted a copy of Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper, at the Royal Academy of Arts.
I know the aim of protests like this is to raise awareness and cause disruption, but no doubt this will end in a fine or even a prison sentence.
The best punishment would be to just leave them in the gallery.
A few days without food, water and toilet breaks would teach them a lesson they won’t forget.
No son shine for Joe
FLOATING inside a sensory deprivation tank, Hunter Biden was supposed to be on a detox from his destructive ways.
Instead, the son of Joe, the President of the United States, filmed himself apparently smoking drugs and fondling himself.
There is something so tragic about the footage, even more so given the programme is funded by his ever-hopeful father.
Joe refuses to give up on his son, transferring him £60,000 to pay for the treatment despite all the disappointments over the years.
Hunter’s wild-eyed, empty gaze into the camera is particularly heartbreaking and must be unbearable for his dad.
For any parent – whether you are the President or a postman – seeing your child in this way must be devastating.
The bottom line is that it’s hard to know how to help someone hell-bent on destroying their life.
But, of course, hope springs eternal.
In text messages, Joe tells his son: “Proud of you. Stick with it. Everything else will work out. Love Dad.”
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He is relentlessly supportive and clearly hopeful about his recovery.
The stress of having a child with an addiction must be immense.
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