Conservatives: 'May will do politics differently to Cameron', says political editor Caroline Wheeler

Conservative leadership race: 'It will be very interesting to see how that plays out', says political editor Caroline Wheeler

Conservative leadership candidate Theresa May leads the field

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Theresa May is the frontrunner to become the new Conservative party leader – and political editor Caroline Wheeler discussed the situation with Jonny Gould and Ash.

The current home secretary received 165 of 329 votes in the first round of voting, followed by Andrea Leadsom and Michael Gove. Liam Fox came last and was eliminated. Stephen Crabb came fourth, but later announced he would pull out of the race.

Another vote will take place tomorrow to narrow the field to two contenders. Political commentator Wheeler gave her verdict.

"Liam did have a stab at it the last time round, and he didn't do too badly, he came third," she told Jonny Gould and Ash. "It was always fairly likely that he was going to throw his hat in the ring.

"He's been a very long-serving politician, he's very experienced, he's got cabinet level experience which some of the others don't."

Michael Gove received 48 votes.

"Obviously there was some speculation that he might not do particularly well, given the nature of how stood and took out Boris Johnson with him, so it's interesting to see he got those 48 votes today.

"There have already been claims and suggestions that he's been lent votes by Theresa May," she added. "[The] suggestion being that he doesn't really want to face Andrea Leadsom.

"[Theresa May] is a good and very solid politician, I think she'll do politics in a different way to David Cameron," she explained. "That's not to rule out the rising challenger which is Andrea Leadsom, and she's gaining momentum, so it will be very interesting to see how that plays out.

"It's worth remembering that this is the first time that a sitting Prime Minister has ever been elected in this way, in a mass ballot. It's usually done when the party's in opposition when they've lost an election."