This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 9 °C Saturday 8 August, 2020

'Time to call it a May': How British media reacted to Theresa May's survival

The Prime Minister was backed by 200 MPs in last night’s House of Commons vote.

THERE WAS ANOTHER day of high political drama in London yesterday as Prime Minister Theresa May survived a motion of confidence in her leadership last night.

Just days after May deferred a crucial vote on the Brexit withdrawal deal, it was confirmed early yesterday morning that the 1922 Committee had received the required 48 signatures to trigger much-discussed motion.

May needed to secure the backing of 159 MPs to survive, and ultimately received the confidence of 200 MPs in last night’s House of Commons vote.

It means another test in her leadership can’t be brought by members of her own party for at least another year, although her survival is seen as an empty victory, particularly as she has now pledged to step down as the party’s leader before the next election.

Here’s how the news was reported in the morning’s UK front pages:

The Daily Mirror said that despite May’s survival, “her goose is cooked”. The paper’s front page story describes the Prime Minster as a “lame duck”, “battered”, and “weakened”.

The Sun used similar language to question May’s authority, saying the prime minister has been “left wounded last night after a battering by Tory Brexit rebels” in a story headlined “Time to call it a May”.

However, other tabloids rowed in behind May after the motion to unseat her was defeated. The Daily Express’ front page story described the prime minister as “determined” under a rallying headline which reads: “Now just let her get on with it”.

The Daily Mail offers similar support to the Prime Minister: “Now let her get on with the job!”, its headline reads. The paper’s front page story also describes how May saw off a “coup attempt” from “plotters” who attempted to remove her as party leader.

Elsewhere, The Daily Telegraph’s headline references ongoing developments surrounding Brexit. It reads: “A vote to Remain, but when will she Leave?”, also describing the Tories as a “split party” who have left May with “a mountain to climb”.

#Open journalism No news is bad news Support The Journal

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support us now

Meanwhile, The Guardian’s headline describes the yesterday’s developments in warlike terms. “Tory coup fails. But scale of rebellion damages May”, it reads.

Its front page story explains how the confidence motion has exposed a “bitter split” in the Conservative Party, while a headline from an editorial by Martin Kettle inside the paper adds that despite May’s survival, the vote of confidence in her was a “Pyrrhic victory”.

Finally, The Times opts for the most concise headline on the British front pages to convey yesterday’s drama, using just three words: “May scrapes home”.

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article

Read next:


This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel