The Power of the Prime Minister. A phrase invariably daunting in tone and effect, if more uncertain in the detail.

Sometimes, however, it can become wobbly. In these rare moments of British politics, life all round becomes less certain. So it is today.

Every PM operates effectively for two main reasons. The first is, of course, control of a strong Parliamentary majority. This relies not simply on its necessary size but also on how those involved see their PM as the person most likely to keep it so. Not to be too cynical but the basic question is: Will he/she ensure I remain an MP?

There is also the courtesy of consultation. All Members like to believe leaders respect their views even in they have little time personally to do so. …

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