Andrea Leadsom’s statement that she is sticking with the Government was less a ringing endorsement of Mrs May and more a veiled declaration of hostilities.
A double edged sword where one side is blunt but the other Sheffield Steel honed to a lethal edge .
Mrs Leadsom as Leader of the House is the person Mrs May has to rely on to navigate her legislation through the House of Commons .
She speaks in a self elevating phrase of a deal that can command the support of those who honour the Referendum result . The implication is clear . It is a category that does not include the Prime Minister .
This implicit condemnation is manifestly unfair to Mrs May . Whatever her strategic failings , and they are manifold, she cannot reasonably be accused of failing to follow the Brexiteers’ advice . Her Mansion House Red Lines ( with their inherent contradictions) were painted at their dictation .
The huge strategic error of surrendering the one negotiating card we had by prematurely serving Article 50 Notice was greeted with acclaim.
Indeed it is barely an exaggeration to say she was cheered to the echo by the ERG on her return from Brussels in December with the agreement which included the now reviled Northern Ireland Back Stop .
The agreement which was supposed to clear the way to determining our future relationship has instead been resiled from by those who received it so warmly 10 months ago.
Their narrative is of incompetence , and betrayal, including by Civil Servants who have simply laboured to create a strategic coherence from the hopelessly flawed fantasy of the Brexiteers.
Yet these very same Brexiteers who spent nearly two years failing to implement their own false Brexit promises now , having resigned from the Cabinet , rail against Mrs May for sticking with their own failure and trying to find a way out of the mess created at their bidding .
We see the unedifying spectacle of a parade of Johnson , Davis and others turning their fire on the Prime Minister in a blatant attempt to deflect attention from their own culpability.
If only they had been more belief they wail, if only the right kind of Brexit had been pursued they cry .
As Andrew Rawnsley put it so well : the trouble with Brexit is Brexit .