Sunday 20 October 2019

The best of Twitter as Prime Minister Theresa May wins confidence vote

From David Cameron to potential contenders, Britons on social media were not short of jokes.

Prime Minister Theresa May makes a statement in 10 Downing Street, London, after she survived an attempt by Tory MPs to oust her with a vote of no confidence – (Victoria Jones/PA)
Prime Minister Theresa May makes a statement in 10 Downing Street, London, after she survived an attempt by Tory MPs to oust her with a vote of no confidence – (Victoria Jones/PA)

By Max McLean and Alastair Reid, Press Association

British Twitter users have responded to the latest round of political chaos in the only way they know how: humour.

The bid to oust Theresa May got off to a flying start on Wednesday morning as the letter announcing the vote contained a glaring typo, referring to Sir Graham Brady as the “chairmam” of the 1922 Committee.

This prompted one Twitter user to wonder whether this was some word they had not yet heard of.

Meanwhile another thought it might be a worthwhile addition to the English language.

Many Twitter users reflected on the current situation in Westminster as entirely of the Conservative Party’s making, naming David Cameron’s pledge in the 2015 election to hold a referendum on EU membership as the root cause.

David Baddiel referenced the famous photo from 2015 which was thought to have damaged then-Labour leader Ed Miliband’s election chances.

Meanwhile former prime minister David Cameron tweeted his support for May but British Twitter did not greet the intervention kindly as his tweet received more than 2,500 replies in less than an hour.

Cameron had largely stayed out of the limelight since resigning after the Brexit vote, making a rare reappearance in the headlines in 2017 with the news he had bought a £25,000 garden shed to write in.

Labour MP Owen Smith had something to say about that.

And many other users took the opportunity to re-share Cameron’s tweet from 2015 when he claimed to give the UK a choice between “stability and strong Government with me, or chaos with Ed Miliband”.

The parallels between the Conservative Party going back on their decision to elect May as leader in 2016 and calls for a second referendum were not lost on many.

As Number 10 prepared May for a statement outside Downing Street, journalist Charlie Proctor noticed that a lot of aides appeared to be trying their hand in a prime ministerial role at the lectern.

The official account for the Leave.EU campaign meanwhile speculated about Michael Gove’s intentions after he voiced his support for the Prime Minister.

Abby Tomlinson predicted May’s reaction at the confidence vote on Wednesday evening, with a picture from TV series Peep Show, captioned “That wasn’t very christmassy”.

But sometimes in the darkest of moments there can be support from where we least expect it.

As the results of the secret ballot drew nearer, some on Twitter found parallels with other television-based votes.

Meanwhile, the situation did seem to lend itself to May’s rather unique time as PM.

May eventually won the confidence vote from the 317 Conservative MPs by a margin of 200 to 117 in a secret ballot at Westminster.

All of which presumably means that everything is now fine.

At least comedian Joe Lycett was on hand to comfort May after another tricky evening for the PM.

But former England footballers Chris Waddle and Gary Lineker locked horns with their thoughts on the matter.

The heroes of Italia 90 made way for the old guard of Peter Shilton and Peter Reid, with the keeper expressing his fondness for Jacob Rees-Mogg, saying he’s been “impressed”.

But Reid said he would agree to disagree in perhaps less than Parliamentary language.

PA Media

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