Flop of the Month: Theresa May splutters through her make-or-break moment

Theresa May's keynote speech to the Conservative Party Conference was a make-or-break moment.

Mayhem in Manchester at May's big moment (Credit: DAVID HARTLEY/REX/Shutterstock)
Mayhem in Manchester at May's big moment (Credit: DAVID HARTLEY/REX/Shutterstock)

After a disastrous General Election campaign, in which it could be said that the Prime Minister personally cost the Conservative Party its majority in the Commons, and a botched visit to the scene of the Grenfell Tower tragedy where she neglected to meet survivors, Mrs May had to heal divisions in the party over Brexit and raise the morale of dispirited activists.

It started well enough. May's mea culpa for the campaign went down well in the hall and her attempt to tell her story and link it with policy was a brave attempt to overcome the 'May-bot' image.

But things quickly began to unravel after prankster Lee Nelson handed the PM a P45 on stage before giving a knowing nod to Boris Johnson in the front row.

May's voice also began to break – not with raw emotion, but from the effects of a nasty cough that meant she could have had a policy platform to die for and nobody would have been the wiser.

As if matters couldn’t get worse, letters began falling from the set behind her, exacerbated by the vibrations from the dutiful applause from the hall. This left the words initially reading "Building a country that works or everyone", with further characters then also falling. 

Maybe the writing isn’t on the wall for the Conservatives - but the set served as a metaphor for a party in disarray.

Read next: PR pros on May's conference speech

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