Steve Barclay for Prime Minister? That is the buzz around Westminster as one national paper describes him as 'an effective new face'

PUBLISHED: 13:05 02 April 2019

Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay arrives in Downing Street, London, for a cabinet meeting.

Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay arrives in Downing Street, London, for a cabinet meeting.

PA Wire/PA Images

NE Cambs MP and Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay and SW Norfolk MP Liz Truss are among 10 cabinet ministers reported to be considering a bid to become prime minister should Theresa May stand down.

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Liz Truss arrives in Downing Street, London, for a cabinet meeting.Chief Secretary to the Treasury Liz Truss arrives in Downing Street, London, for a cabinet meeting.

The names of both MPs are on a list being circulated around Westminster and being discussed by journalists at Westminster.

Latest odds for both are not encouraging – most bookmakers have them with odds of around 100-1.

Mr Barclay is thought to be making a success of tackling the thorny issue of Brexit better than many expected.

“Barclay, who is considered a good media performer, is another name being mentioned by MPs as someone they believe could be an effective new face,” concluded an article in The Guardian.

The NE Cambs MP has managed successfully to be many things to many people during the Brexit drama. His Brexit stance won him a round of applause in March last Thursday when he addressed the annual meeting of his constituency association.

He drove back from London for the meeting at March Conservative Club after a journey that took him by train from London to Peterborough before driving, and arriving only a few minutes late, for the meeting in March.

A quick dash to his Fenland home for the night and it was back to London early on Friday for the Brexit bandwagon to roll on.

Today he is among cabinet colleagues at a lengthy meeting with the prime minister at Downing Street.

With the clock ticking to the day when we should leave the EU, he told the Commons yesterday that in the absence of other options the cabinet would now decide the way forward.

Ms Truss has been more forthcoming about the future prospects for her party – and for her career – even though last month she told our sister paper the EDP that she wanted for now to be focused on “getting Brexit sorted”.

But in an interview with The Sunday Times this week, the MP for south west Norfolk has positioned herself for the role, saying the party needs to “remodernise”.

Speaking to the national paper, Ms Truss outlined her ideas for how the party can win the support of younger voters who she refers to as the “go-getting generation”, as well as business owners.

She said: “We need to reshape the state and not just think the answer to our problems is spending more money.

“The most likely age group to agree to with that are younger people. We have lowered business rates. Currently we spend £18bn on business support.

“I’d like to cut the taxes on business- not give them back their own money,” she said.

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