Denis Staunton: The remarkable staying power of Theresa May
In her mostly unsuccessful time in office, May has shown remarkable political resilience
Theresa May’s speech at the Conservative conference in Birmingham on Wednesday was one of her best, well-constructed with a coherent argument that hit most of the notes the occasion demanded. Photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
Immediately before Theresa May appeared onstage at the Conservative conference at Birmingham’s International Convention Centre on Wednesday, two questions were on everyone’s lips. How would she exorcise the memory of last year’s disaster, when she coughed her way through the speech as the backdrop behind her disintegrated? And how was she going to follow the extraordinary warm-up act we had just witnessed?
Attorney general Geoffrey Cox, whose successful practice at the Bar has made him the highest-earning MP at Westminster, put all his expensive skills on display in an oratorical tour de force that thrilled the Tory faithful. In his rich basso profundo as mellifluous as Richard Burton or Brian Blessed, he ended with a stirring quotation from Milton.