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PM’s ‘sense of duty’ hailed after much-interrupted conference speech

Cabinet ministers rallied round Theresa May following her dramatic speech to the Conservative Party conference.

Cabinet ministers rallied round Theresa May following her dramatic speech to the Conservative Party conference.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said he believed Mrs May’s speech showed a “great sense of duty”, adding she “did really well” to cope with a persistent cough and a prankster waving a P45 unemployment notice in her face.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove added to the Press Association: “I thought it was a fantastic speech from a Prime Minister at the top of her game.”

Senior Conservative MP George Freeman, head of the Prime Minister’s policy board, described it as the “most electrifying” speech and added Mrs May’s “faltering” voice heightened the sense of her tenacity.

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Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and other members of the cabinet listen to Prime Minister Theresa May deliver her keynote speech at the Conservative Party Conference (Owen Humphreys/PA)

He told the Press Association: “She completely turned around that tone of the general election, of a monotone, iron lady, the Maybot.

“This was a woman showing her vulnerability, showing her frailty, and in so doing connecting with and demonstrating what is her greatest strength – a steely commitment to public service, an incredible personal sense of duty, a woman who at an age of life where many would be putting their feet up, is redoubling her commitment to the toughest job in the country.

“Strangely the faltering voice actually heightened the sense of her tenacity and her commitment to go through the adversity.

“You could feel the more she spoke, the more the mood came with her, as people celebrated the values of public service that are at the heart of Conservatism.

“You couldn’t have scripted it more powerfully.”

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