TMB’s guide to the Tory leadership election

by articulatedsheep

We now know that definitely – definitely! – Theresa May is about to be subject to an imminent challenge to her leadership. Quite apart from anything else it would be ridiculous – ridiculous! – if she were to stumble on, hopelessly, messily, chaotically, for another four and a half horrifically drawn out years.

Obviously, that would be absurd. She is about to be subjected to a leadership challenge. Let’s believe that, for a few beautiful hours. Let’s not sully that hope. Please.

So, what does the leadership process involve? Like all the finest traditions of the British Constitution, it hinges on a committee chaired by a man called Graham who no-one has heard of. The 1922 Committee of backbench Tory MPs – so-called, because it is the year to which the majority of Tories yearn to return – plays a pivotal role. MPs wishing to challenge May’s leadership can do so by submitting a letter to the Committee’s Chair (who are we kidding – Chairman). But what happens then?

Here are the key principles.

1) 48 MPs must deposit letters (anonymously) with Graham Brady MP, Chair of the 1922 Committee, to automatically trigger a leadership contest;
2) MPs can “withdraw” their letter at any time *unless* Brady shouts “NO TAKEBACKS!” at the precise point when the letter is originally handed to him;
3) The deposited letter is null and void if MP in question is crossing their fingers behind their back while giving the letter to Brady;
4) Letters must be written on vellum and in classical Greek;
5) Brady can at any time “dare” an MP to rescind their anonymity, which will give the MP in question the option of “double dare”ing Brady himself to reveal the identity of another letter writer. Brady can accept the double dare (thereby commencing the “dare” process with that other MP) or submit to a “physical challenge” specified by the original MP. This can lead to an unstoppable cascade of dares and double dares, which last happened in the 1990 leadership contest which led to Margaret Thatcher’s departure;
6) The letter can be accompanied by a freehand drawing of the person the writer most wants to be Tory leader. If so the letter counts double, but if the drawing is deemed by Brady to be worse than one he could draw himself, the letter will only count half;
7) Proceedings can be immediately and unexpectedly terminated if Sir Christopher Chope MP shouts “NO!” in a very loud voice, at which point Brady must declare that the entire process up until that point has been a dream.



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