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Why headlines about ‘axing a slew of white men' might come back to bite the Prime Minister

Posted On: 25 Oct 2021   |   Posted By: Conservative Home

The Sun is not a paper known to beating around the bush. Nonetheless, their headline yesterday - ‘Johnson axes slew of white men in sweeping reshuffle - to promote rising-star women' - might have been a bit on point for the Prime Minister's liking.
Not because it isn't true, of course. We noted the pattern in our own live blog , especially when Greg Hands managed to avoid the fate of John Whittingdale and Nick Gibb. Nor because its a bad thing to be promoting women in to government. Quite the reverse.
Nonetheless, the basic arithmetic of the parliamentary Conservative Party means that any Tory leader needs to keep the white men, or at least enough of them, happy. And even in these days of a hugely expanded payroll vote, prime ministerial patronage has its limits.
Our Editor noted this problem back in March , when we reported on the frustrations of MPs from the 2019 intake who felt they were being passed over for promotion. With every reshuffle that passes, those concerns will grow more acute. And they will...

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