Tory splits over Brexit, HS2 and Heathrow spell trouble for PM

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Don’t be fooled by the array of smiling faces in photographs of the cabinet at work in 10 Downing Street.

Because all is not as it seems.

Beneath the cheery exterior simmers some unrest which could develop into something more serious.

Take the prime minister’s bold decision on the extra runway at Heathrow Airport.

You may bitterly disagree with this decision – many people do – but at least she has had the courage to reach a decision that her predecessors have all managed to dodge.

However, the Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has publicly said this decision is “undeliverable”.

And as we all know, Boris is a formidable opponent.

Justine Greening, Education Secretary, has also registered opposition.

Somebody said the other day that it is just as well Plane Stupid were not around in Victorian times otherwise we would have had no trains.

There are Tory opponents too to the high speed rail link (HS2).

And what with Brexit on top of all that, it is beginning to look like trouble ahead for Theresa.

• Why has the Labour Party leadership seemingly turned its back on Hilary Benn?

Jeremy Corbyn sacked him from the shadow cabinet for alleged disloyalty.

But Benn is without doubt one of the most striking and effective members of the opposition.

And if ever an official opposition party was in need of someone of Benn’s calibre it is this one, which is so badly led and, quite frankly, a shambles.

There are already plenty of people in the shadow cabinet who could not touch Benn for political ability and whose own allegiance is questionable.

Is it perhaps the case that Corbyn is afraid Benn will mount a leadership coup to dislodge him?

But if Benn wanted to mount a leadership challenge – which I think is highly unlikely – then he is a much bigger danger to Corbyn on the back benches than within the front bench team.

If there is a parliamentary element more ludicrous than Corbyn’s bedraggled party, it is Ukip.

After the triumph of their chief policy in the European Union referendum, Ukip have indulged in rough and tumbles in the Strasbourg parliamentary building, they have had new leaders come and go within a matter of months and are as harmonious a political party as two dustbin lids clashing together.

In the words of the old song, why don’t they just call the whole thing off?

• David Cameron was once asked what his favourite political joke was.

He replied without hesitation: “Nick Clegg”.

But an even bigger joke than that is that the Lib Debs are forming their own shadow cabinet!

A little grandiose don’t you think, for a party with eight members in the Commons and gross over representation in the House of Lords, many of them deadbeats.

All of which goes to show that the party’s lively leader Tim Farron is getting a little above himself in promoting a party that is now no more than a pathetic rump at Westminster.