EXTREMELY able but inclined to over-confidence – that’s what Government ministers think of Tom Tugendhat, according to The Daily Telegraph. The paper named him, at the weekend, as one of the MPs most likely to succeed Theresa May.
Ministers believe that first of all though ‘he needs to calm it a bit’.
The Tonbridge MP, who only entered parliament two years ago, has attracted attention in Westminster in recent weeks after his appointment as Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee.
Against the backdrop of a lost majority and Cabinet infighting, there is an emerging consensus that the Conservatives will look to fresher faces to re-launch the party’s brand, with Mr Tugendhat seen as a prime candidate.
According to The Telegraph’s Chief Political Correspondent, Christopher Hope, in Saturday’s edition [July 22] the MP ‘has been a man in a hurry’ since the 2015 election with ministers telling him that the MP is ‘extremely able’ and could make it to Number 10 but was ‘inclined to over-confidence’ and ‘needs to calm it a bit’.
His odds as next Conservative leader are 33/1 (Ladbrokes), far ahead of neighbouring MP Greg Clark at 50/1, despite the latter’s seven-year ministerial career. The Tunbridge Wells member is seen as having the same chance to become the chief of his party as Diane Abbott is of Labour.
David Davis remains the front-runner at 3/1, although surprise online sensation Jacob Rees-Mogg has had his odds slashed to just 6/1, leapfrogging a flagging Boris Johnson who is on 8/1.
Mr Tugendhat’s office declined to comment on the grounds that it was purely speculation.