A tense party conference for Theresa May

British Prime Minister Theresa May made numerous promises to socially vulnerable voters in her closing speech at the Conservative party conference. Weakened by the losses in the last elections, attacks from within her own party and mass protests against Brexit and austerity measures, she is under huge pressure. Will the prime minister manage to stay in office?

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The Guardian (GB) /

Disastrous speech may help May's cause

Theresa May's conference speech was marred by coughing fits and other occurrences but at least the prime minister was forced to show her human side for once, writes columnist Simon Jenkins in the Guardian:

“I suspect May will emerge from this debacle curiously strengthened. Her enemies will inevitably see it as a coded sign of female weakness, but her greatest lack so far has been of humanity. In Manchester, she was compelled to convey humour, vulnerability and a degree of emotion. I doubt if it will do her much harm. She may be unpopular but survive she will, for the time being. The Tories elected her a year ago. They know they must live with her.”

De Volkskrant (NL) /

Relapse into uncertainty

British Prime Minister Theresa May destroyed the positive impression she had made in Florence at the Tory conference, De Volkskrant laments:

“In Florence she seemed to say farewell to the principle of hard Brexit, the idea that 'no deal is better than a bad deal'. But precisely this attitude was alive and kicking again in Manchester. And as long as May is too weak to sort out the contradictory stances on Brexit in her own party, the stagnation at the negotiating table will continue. Theresa May has missed a chance to reaffirm the constructive course she charted out in Florence and done a disservice to the British, and in particular to the companies that are all living in a state of uncertainty.”

Politiken (DK) /

Dear Brits, vote again!

Politiken rakes May and her speech over the coals:

“If she has a new vision for Britain, then she isn't able to explain what it is. If she believes she knows what Brexit will cost, she's keeping it to herself. And if she wants to prove that her government backs her enthusiastically, loyally, and as one, the British media have long known that the party is divided, enthusiasm low and any loyalty dubious indeed. ... May said she's 'sure that we'll reach an agreement that's good for Britain and will work for Europe'. British voters have good reason to doubt that. As John le Carré says: 'I'm angry and ashamed'. Put your shame behind you, dear Brits. The door to the EU is still open to you.”

The Daily Telegraph (GB) /

Conservatives the first choice for young Brits

Only business-friendly policies like those of the Torys are viable for the future, the Daily Telegraph asserts with conviction:

“Young people want good schools and hospitals - so does the Conservative Party. Young people want more funds for essential public services - so does the Conservative Party. The only question is how to generate those funds? This is the crucial argument to win. Conservatives believe in nurturing enterprise and fostering wealth- and job-creators, because taxes on private profits are the only source of state funds. They are the golden geese whose eggs pay for everything. Labour’s attitude, by contrast, is one of confiscation, envy and central control.”

The Guardian (GB) /

Fear of Labour unites Tories behind May

The conservatives will continue to let their struggling leader lead the party and the country for now because they have no better alternative, the Guardian points out:

“It is possible that Mrs May will get her wish this week and survive. The Conservative party has deep instincts of self-preservation and discipline. The idea that a new leader, Mr Johnson least of all, would unite either the party or the country on Brexit or anything else lacks credibility. Though they are divided on many things, the Tories are as one in their wish to avoid handing power to Jeremy Corbyn.”