Ben Lowry: Most people would have a breakdown if they were under the pressure Theresa May is under

Prime Minister Theresa May gives a speech at The Jordan Museum in Amman, Jordan during her visit to the Middle East on Thursday November 30. All prime ministers face relentless pressure and challenges, but she has had one of the most intense and difficult tenures in Downing Street of any modern peacetime PM. Photo: Joe Giddens/PA Wire
Prime Minister Theresa May gives a speech at The Jordan Museum in Amman, Jordan during her visit to the Middle East on Thursday November 30. All prime ministers face relentless pressure and challenges, but she has had one of the most intense and difficult tenures in Downing Street of any modern peacetime PM. Photo: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Theresa May is being battered almost daily by problems and crises.

It is surprising that the prime minister has not had a nervous breakdown.

President Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House, Thursday, Nov. 30. Dealing with the unprecedented nature of his presidency is another of Theresa May's huge challenges (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House, Thursday, Nov. 30. Dealing with the unprecedented nature of his presidency is another of Theresa May's huge challenges (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Whatever Mrs May’s shortcomings, very few people could handle the sort of relentless stress with which premiers have to live.

But in her case the pressure has been as acute as that faced by any peacetime incumbent of 1o Downing Street.

Brexit was in itself an immense challenge, before Mrs May lost her overall majority in the House of Commons, following her disastrous (but entirely understandable) decision to call a general election.

Since then the Brexit negotiations have become ever more fraught, and other problems have flared up, including the sex scandal that engulfed Westminster, including ministers in her government.

This has been a wide ranging saga, from claims of sexual harassment to the grisly saga in which a police officer is making specific allegations at the alleged pattern of use of (legal) pornography on a computer used in an office of Mrs May’s effective deputy, Damian Green MP.

Meanwhile, for the best part of the last year Mrs May has also been having to navigate the presidency of Donald Trump.

Events in the White House have turned into a rolling series of grotesqueries that are wholly without modern precedent.

Mr Trump is so unconcerned about decorum that he turned publicly on Mrs May when he was criticised by her for re-tweeting messages from a far right British group.

Mrs May will almost certainly bitterly regret having rushed into offering Mr Trump a state visit.

If it went ahead, it would be disastrous to her and to Britain’s reputation. If it doesn’t, that will be embarrassing.

It is true of course that much, much worse men than Trump have had state visits. But people look up to America, and will always judge a US president to a higher standard than other leaders.

• Ben Lowry (@BenLowry2) is News Letter deputy editor

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