On Monday lunchtime, as my parting shot on CNNTalk, I said that, in her statement responding to the Salisbury nerve agent attack, Theresa May should ask herself one question: “What would Maggie have done?” And then do it.
If I’m honest, I thought we’d hear a statement full of diplomatic ifs and buts. What we got instead, both on Monday and Wednesday was a full on Iron lady tour de force. It was the Prime Minister at her confident best. She was robust, forthright but grounded on an inner calm, based on the belief that she was doing the right thing. The nervousness and lack of self-confidence that is sometimes apparent was banished – hopefully for good.
There wasn’t a single Conservative MP who wouldn’t have given her their full support. And she got the backing of the more sane Labour MPs too. They lined up on Wednesday to tell her she had done exactly the right thing, and subtly to stick the knife into their own leader. The relative unity in the Parliamentary Labour Party has been well and truly shattered over this issue.