Conservative party

Theresa May should learn from the CEO playbook – talk less, listen more

BY Simon Targett   /  5 December 2018

“Hear! Hear!” That’s the familiar cry from MPs when they express their approval for a speech in the House of Commons. But for Theresa May, these words have been strangely absent over the past two weeks. When, last week, she presented her EU Withdrawal Agreement in parliament, she faced a hostile reception for the first hour of the session. After three quarters of a hour, Robert Peston, ITV’s political editor, was driven to tweet: “Amazing that—yet again—we are 45 minutes in & still not a single voice, from any party, including Tories, backing @theresa_may’s Brexit deal.” When she still had no support after another 10 minutes had ticked by, he tweeted again: “Come on, who will stand up for @theresa_may? This is embarrassing.”

The fact that it took a seasoned journalist whose stock-in-trade is a weary cynicism to rally support for a sitting prime minister is extraordinary.