DID the earth move for you last night? While Tories were tearing themselves apart over Theresa May’s well-deserved sacking, an earthquake was rearranging the political landscape across Britain and Europe.
Even without full election results to hand, Nigel Farage had clearly scored the equivalent of a second referendum landslide for Brexit.
We will finally see Britain’s two biggest Brexit heavyweights step into the ring – Bojo v The Gover
Populist parties from both the Left and Right were shifting the balance of power in Brussels and declaring war on its unaccountable bureaucratic elite.
Scores of disruptive new MEPs are now preparing to take their seats at precisely the moment arrogant Eurocrats need their consent for a top-down shake-up of the EU high command.
Battle lines will be drawn as a different European Parliament struggles to find a unity candidate to replace Jean-Claude “Drunken” Juncker as commission president.
With polls predicting the death of the EU within 20 years and immigration corroding the dream of ever-closer union, Brexit is just another gigantic headache for Brussels.
The advantage has therefore shifted a little in Britain’s favour.
BOJO VS THE GOVER
Amid this turbulence Tory MPs must now choose their next leader. It has to be a Leaver. And there has to be a fight. Britain cannot risk another Theresa May-style walkover.
Voters need a proper stand-up, knock-out test of character, courage and ability to communicate under fire.
Michael Gove’s entry into the leadership race is therefore welcome.
We will finally see the contest we missed in 2016 between Britain’s two biggest Brexit heavyweights — BoJo v The Gover.
There will be a cavalry charge of other wannabes, including Dominic Raab, Jeremy Hunt, Sajid Javid and Matt Hancock.
Boris Johnson fluffed his chance and flopped at the Foreign Office
But it will be quickly thinned down to either of these two ex-comrades — plus one other — on the final slate.
Since the party membership will chose a Brexiteer, logic suggests Boris or Michael Gove will be our next PM.
The twice Mayor of London starts as the proven vote-winner. He has the ability to spread sunshine, put a smile on the face of Tory Leavers and soft-soap Remainers.
But he fluffed his chance last time and flopped at the Foreign Office.
Does he have what it takes as a national leader?
COURTESY CONCEALS A CORE OF STEEL
For all his chaotic flamboyance, wrecked relation- ships and casual deceptions, Boris is a softie who dislikes confrontation.
“He is the most forgiving of men,” says a pal. He has even forgiven Gove for stabbing him in the back in 2016.
His Edinburgh-born rival is a different kettle of fish. His breezy courtesy conceals a core of steel — or what David Cameron and Boris Johnson see as an assassin’s knife.
Boris might have forgiven Gove but some grassroots Tories have not.
Nor have they forgotten his support for Mrs May’s disastrous Brexit deal. Mr Gove, aware of his reputation for betraying two close allies, tells friends he could not risk destroying a third.
GOVE TOOK THE FIGHT
Fans argue he was only doing what he believed was right on Brexit.
It was Gove who took the fight to Remainers. It was Gove who memorably declared Brexit meant Britain would have to leave the EU customs union and single market.
As Education Secretary he had the balls and brains to take on hardline teachers’ unions and challenge the civil service “Blob” over classroom reform.
He is formidable in debate, with an ability to frame complex arguments. He would be no pushover in Brussels. He is more admired in Westminster than in the country at large.
It is too soon to write off other challengers. Karate black belt Dominic Raab is a staunch Brexiteer. Jeremy Hunt could be our next Chancellor. Matt Hancock’s future is assured whatever happens.
CommentTHE SUN SAYS Euro voters sent a clear and harsh message — a plague on ALL your houses CommentTHE SUN ON SUNDAY SAYS The Tories must wake up and appeal to disaffected younger voters CommentTONY PARSONS Theresa May brought duty, courage and patriotism, but it just wasn’t enough CommentJEREMY CLARKSON Even Boeing couldn’t beat three-time Formula One king Niki Lauda CommentSIR GRAHAM BRADY No one could fail to be moved by Theresa May’s parting words outside No10
But if a week is a long time in politics, the few days since Mrs May was booted out is a blip on the Richter scale.
Remainers want to keep their seats. Nigel’s Brexit Party are eating their lunch. Brussels wants a deal.
The sooner we have a Prime Minister who can deliver that deal, the sooner we can get back to clobbering Jeremy Corbyn.
AFP or licensors Gove is formidable in debate, with an ability to frame complex arguments
Getty Images – Getty The twice Mayor of London – with his ability to spread sunshine – starts as the proven vote-winner
Dan Charity – The Sun While Tories were tearing themselves apart over May’s sacking, an earthquake was rearranging the political landscape across Britain
EPA Nigel Farage clearly scored the equivalent of a second referendum landslide for Brexit
Geoffrey Robinson – the alleged spy on the Soviet payrollBOMBSHELL new evidence suggests that Geoffrey Robinson, Tony Blair’s dodgy Paymaster General, was an alleged spy on the Soviet payroll.It was Robinson who devised the PFI scam which landed taxpayers with the eye-watering £200billion bill we are still paying for privately built and maintained hospitals and schools.
It was also Robinson who handed slippery Peter Mandelson a secret £373,000 loan which broke building society rules and cost Mandy his Cabinet job.
Does Mandelson ever wonder if he was playing with Kremlin money?
Michael Gove becomes eighth Tory MP to officially join leadership race to succeed Theresa May