That was probably the worst ever speech by a party leader in any country since time began. May’s credibility is in tatters. She must resign. Sir Michael Fallon should step up to the plate, says Peter Bingle.

The irony is that the speech started so well. Here was Theresa May not quite on fire but on top form, explaining why she was a Tory and extolling her personal convictions and beliefs. I started to believe that she was finally going to set out a policy agenda that would resonate with ordinary voters. After a truly terrible party conference the PM was going to stamp her personal authority on not just the Tory Party but also on British politics.

And then it all started to go horribly wrong. She handled the ‘comedian’ who presented her with a P45 with consummate skill. The conference was right behind her. The PM was on top form. She then started to splutter and cough. The ashen faces of her Cabinet colleagues said all that needed to be said. This was a disaster.

The PM kept going. Spluttering, coughing and choking. The audience rallied behind her. Somebody tweeted: “I’m a cougher not a quitter”. If she had thrown up over her Cabinet colleagues the activists would have probably cheered…

The sad reality, however, is that the game is up. Just as the terrible IDS ‘quiet man’ speech destroyed him, today’s coughing extravaganza has destroyed the PM’s credibility. This was excruciatingly terrible…

If anybody had bothered to listen to the speech the content was actually rather interesting but nobody was listening to the speech.

After today’s disaster, we are nearer than ever to becoming a Marxist state. The time for dithering is surely over. The Tory Party is famous for its ruthlessness. It needs to be ruthless now. The PM’s credibility is in tatters.

Who should replace her? The answer is very simple and hopefully very obvious. Sir Michael Fallon…

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