Theresa May Became Prime Minister By Accident, Says Tory Grandee

10 June 2019, 10:31 | Updated: 10 June 2019, 10:42

Tory grandee Lord Young tells LBC Theresa May only became Prime Minister after a "series of accidents" and would not have won the 2016 leadership race had there been a hustings.

Lord David Young told Nick Ferrari that Theresa May would not have been elected Conservative leader after David Cameron resigned if there was a hustings event, saying the Maidenhead MP only got the job after a "series of accidents".

The former Trade and Industry Secretary under Margaret Thatcher said that he didn't think anyone would have chosen Theresa May at the beginning of the leadership contest, blaming "peculiar circumstances" for her rise to Downing Street.

"It just so happened that these peculiar circumstances in which David Cameron suddenly disappeared, and then we had the position between Boris Johnson and Michael Gove which was unbelievable," he said.

"Then out of the blue we were suddenly left with two candidates."

Tory Peer Lord Young in the LBC studio
Tory Peer Lord Young in the LBC studio. Picture: LBC

The Tory peer described a mistake of the 2016 leadership contest was not having a hustings because it didn't "put people under fire".

"Last time, when David Cameron resigned, there were only two candidates and they didn't even go through any hustings, and [Theresa May] got the job," he said.

"She'd never been tested, and Prime Minister is a 24/7 job, and it's remorseless pressure.

"We must put these candidates under real pressure.

"Many people will say things just for convenience and put them under pressure and they'll change their story."

But asked by Nick whether Theresa May would have made it to 10 Downing Street if there had been a hustings event in 2016, the Tory grandee said she would not.

Lord Young's comments come on the day the Conservative Party kick starts its leadership contest to find a successor to Theresa May.

Watch in full above.