AND then there were two.
Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak will spend the next few weeks battling it out in the race to succeed Boris Johnson.
Though both claim to be the heir or heiress to Margaret Thatcher, they hail from different wings of the party.
The former is running as a continuity candidate and hoping that the Tory right falls in behind her. Low taxes, deregulation and Brexit freedoms
The latter is more competent, perhaps more pragmatic – but still equally damaging for working people. No tax cuts till 2024, and a continuation of traditional Tory policy. Don’t be fooled by the furlough handouts.
Labour have reportedly been quietly happy with who the final two ended up being. Penny Mordaunt ay have proved a challenge at the despatch box, while Kemi Badenoch may have dragged the LOTO into a culture war he wouldn’t win.
But Sir Keir Starmer still needs to be on watch, whoever reigns supreme – and step up his own game.
Boris Johnson, who appeared formidable in 2019, proved to be an easy sparring partner. Months of gaffes and even an FPN provided ammo in the Commons chamber.
But neither of Sunak or Truss will be so easy.
While voters have moved away from Boris Johnson, there is still the challenge of attracting them to Labour amid a new leader bounce for the government.
Inflation will eventually stabilise and the cost of living crisis will ease.
Labour needs to put forward ideas – and fast.
This week saw the release of the Forde Report, which essentially confirmed several party officials were hostile to Jeremy Corbyn.
Starmer has little of the same ferocity of opposition, bar some minor resistance from the SCG.
When September comes and he faces off against a new leader, we must also see a new Starmer – or the Tory dynasty will continue.
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