Belfast Telegraph

Alex Kane: Theresa May's toast and that prospect could be enough to gain her Brexit deal support

Theresa May is battling to stay in power (Andrew Matthews/PA)
Theresa May is battling to stay in power (Andrew Matthews/PA)
Alex Kane

By Alex Kane

It isn't so much that Theresa May is a duff party leader and Prime Minister; we have had a lot of those in the past and they've actually managed to get things done.

It is the fact that she is a duff party leader and Prime Minister at this critical, era-changing moment when the United Kingdom needs a Churchill or Thatcher; someone prepared to face down every opponent - at home and in Brussels - and finally deliver an exit agreement.

The fact that she has survived is astonishing, albeit for all the wrong reasons.

Personally, I've long been of the opinion that the only thing which will get her out of Number 10 is a full-blown exorcism; and even then, I'm pretty sure she'd give the Prince of Darkness a run for his money.

Her 'I'm on your side' address to the nation on Wednesday evening was possibly the most tone-deaf, tin-eared, blame-everybody-else speech ever heard from a Prime Minister.

So bad, in fact, that it probably added a few million signatures to the Revoke Article 50 petition and another couple of hundred thousand people to Saturday's march in London.

It certainly sparked a potential coup against her, yet her enemies are so divided amongst themselves that no-one landed a killer blow over the weekend.

Mind you, the hand-wringing insincerity of those lining up to deny plotting against her will give her no cause for comfort - each and every one of them is desperate to get rid of her, but only if they can wear her crown or expect elevation to the Cabinet.

Mrs May has been extraordinarily lucky in her choice of enemies.

She still thinks she can get her Withdrawal Agreement across the line at the third time of asking, even if that means telling potential converts that she will step down as Prime Minister in exchange for their votes.

Ironically, so keen are some of her own side to be rid of her - both Leave and Remain - that they may be prepared to accept her offer.

What happens after that is anybody's guess, because choosing her replacement would make the Borgias' usual method of score-settling look like the monthly meeting of a Mills and Boon book club.

The reality is, she is toast.

The surreality is, she simply refuses to pop-up and acknowledge the fact.

That, I think, will suit the DUP quite nicely.

It's always easier to deal with a weak leader clinging to office by two fingertips than dealing with a new leader who might very well have a mind and game plan of their own.

When the original confidence and supply deal was signed in June 2017 I don't think anyone realised how troublesome for the Prime Minister the DUP could become.

That deal is now up for renewal and a new leader - aware that the DUP is increasingly unpopular with some sections of the party - might balk about how close the relationship needs to be this time.

The DUP is enjoying its time in the political/media spotlight - so, deep down, it is quite fond of Theresa May.

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