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As Rishi Sunak’s team prepared for Volodymyr Zelensky’s arrival in England this week, they knew this was one secret.
A source close to the prime minister said, “Unlike other stories, if this had leaked, it would have been a matter of life and death.” The visit had been planned since last year, but was so closely guarded that even House officials didn’t know until 48 hours before his speech at Westminster Hall that they were expected to receive the Ukrainian president. rice field.
Even after news broke that Mr Zelensky would pay for his trip to Brussels, his visit to London remained a secret. “That’s because the EU is leaking information,” joked a British government source.
It wasn’t the only major development of the week that remained a secret until almost the last moment. For several months, Sunak had been considering making significant changes to Whitehall’s function, with dedicated departments for both energy and science. The shuffle was leaked only the night before it happened. Contrary to the days of Boris Johnson and Liz Truss, big news was always out days ahead.
The prime minister’s allies rallied to the week’s two successes, which began with a question by Ms Truss defending herself in a 4,000-word essay about how returning to the front would destabilize Mr Sunak. happy.
“What you’ve seen this week is that good and talented management can start to lead to better things,” said the senior Conservative MP. I“It’s the difference between a very orderly mind and someone with a background that actually does things. They do things quietly, but they change more.”
10 insiders talk about “getting your voice heard.” The idea is that after the Truss disaster, the Conservatives need to show the public that they are committed to stability in order to gain the trust they need to enact serious policy changes.
“The level of professionalism is completely different under Theresa May, let alone Boris Johnson,” said a veteran of multiple Conservative governments. Outsiders agree. One European official was recently overheard saying: Things seem to be better thought out. ”
Sunak said his decision to take the lead in training Ukrainian fighter pilots to fly on Western jets made him overly cautious, especially compared to his flamboyant predecessor Johnson. I would like to dispel the notion that
“This idea that he’s not doing big things is a real misconception,” said a supportive lawmaker. The idea that as prime minister he wasn’t willing to do anything ‘big’ is for the birds!”
They compared him favorably with Mr Johnson, saying that under his leadership “promises were probably easy to come by, but not firm”.
A former minister said the Whitehall restructuring could be profitable. If you’re the most optimistic, you’ll see it as a statement of intent for his vision of the future.
Members of Parliament, including some who initially did not support Sunak’s leadership, recently attended a breakfast at Number 10 as part of a Downing Street outreach mission led by Chief Whip, Simon Hart and Craig Williams. are flooding their Instagram pages with pictures of themselves. , Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister.
Nonetheless, many within the Conservative Party remain skeptical that the prime minister is on track to turn his fortunes around, with polls showing Labor still leading by 20 points. Some believe this spring’s local elections could still be deadly. “Rishi thinks he will fall in May or his June,” said a senior MP. I“He’s way behind in the polls. He’s too weak to have a proper makeover. Everything feels a little hopeless.”
Another Tory source stressed that tinkering with government departments is no substitute for implementing policies. They said: It will only disrupt things and slow us down for the next few months.
“There’s a long way to go until the next election. Eighteen months is a long time in politics. Rishi can get the party together – he can do it. It’s just a matter of actual policy and what he’s trying to do, there’s a lot of saying “hold inflation and stop small boats.” Anything is fine. We need policies that people can actually support. I think those who voted for Liz and Boris want policy, not gossip. ”
Commenting on the personnel changes, Buckventure added: We haven’t brought in new people to the government, so it’s very difficult to solve. Likewise, you’re not kicking anyone out, so it’s not bothering people that way. If so, you might have waited until it came to a conclusion before doing this. There’s a general expectation that he’ll have to make at least one more move of his in the near future. ”
The hiring of outspoken Redwall Rep. Lee Anderson as the party’s vice-chairman is arguably the most eye-catching part of the reorganization, and arguably his right-wing It shows the weakness of Mr. Snack’s position as he fights to strengthen his position as one of Mr. Johnson’s biggest fans.
A former minister said: And it always happens with personnel changes. That said, I think there is one or two very dissatisfied and very good people who have been slightly overlooked. Rishi’s view seems to need to try to balance the people in his government so that he doesn’t fall into Liz and Boris’ trap of wiping everyone out when he becomes prime minister. ”
Members of Mr. Sunak’s inner circle say he is not pandering to the right by promoting Mr. Anderson. A source said, “He’s a really nice guy and he and Rishi get along very well.
In any case, Downing Street would rather the media and the public talk about Ms Anderson than to talk about Mr Anderson, as one of the shadow ministers said about her, to Labor.
Even the last leader’s staunch supporters aren’t happy she’s back in the fray. “After what happened last year, we had a very candid conversation over a glass of hers or two of hers,” said one.
The comeback is a reminder that not everything is going well at the party.Former Chief Cabinet Secretary Speaks I: “If the party has gone through as much trauma as it has in the past year, it will take longer to heal and it will take longer to come together.”