The start of October coincided with the Conservative Party Conference, and with Labour holding a 20% lead in the polls the sharks began to circle. Conference began with some high profile interventions from the likes of Michael Gove and Grant Shapps, as loyalists responded with barbs of their own. A sign of things to come.
With Conservative Conference came a host of not wholly unprecedented controversy: a young Tory got himself in hot water for controversial comments, Lee Anderson was confronted by a protester and a Tory MP was subject to a (bogus) behavioural complaint. Liz Truss rounded off proceedings by calling out the “anti-growth coalition” in her speech. Characteristic of her premiership, it was short, sweet and of little consequence.
Conservative Party internecine warfare continued over the next week, culminating in the sacking of Kwasi Kwarteng. Jeremy Hunt stepped in and immediately re-assessed the government’s fiscal policy – the writing was on the wall. Though nobody had yet informed Liz Truss, as the Prime Minister insisted she would carry on fighting. Liz Truss resigned that week.
With that, the spreadsheet was back. Guido spent one frantic weekend split between Gmail, Twitter and Google Sheets keeping tabs on the contest. Where, despite a fast start, It was perhaps too soon for Boris’ “I’ll be back” return, much to the delight of media types. As backroom dealings bore little fruit and Rishi’s column climbed, the eventual outcome became clear and the prodigal prince got his coronation. Although Rishi did alright, the real winner from the weekend was Guido’s view count.
With the culmination of the year’s second Conservative Party leadership contest, Sunak undertook his first Ri-shuffle and got down to business. Elsewhere in October, Jolyon lost another case, Nigel Farage teased a political comeback and Matt Hancock made a fool of himself. Overall, it marked a welcome return to normality.
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