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News Party Conference Report

NHS plays second fiddle to Brexit as prime minister struggles to find voice

BMJ 2017; 359 doi: (Published 06 October 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;359:j4636
  1. Gareth Iacobucci
  1. The BMJ

After the buzz of the past two Conservative Party conferences, in which the party faithful were giddy from an unexpected majority (2015) and an unexpected Leave vote (2016), it was perhaps inevitable that the 2017 vintage (an unexpected loss of a parliamentary majority) lacked the same fizz, with confidence also punctured by the unexpected gains made by the Labour Party in the June general election.

The Tories are divided over Brexit, and the authority of the prime minister, Theresa May, has been badly weakened by the election result. As potential successors plot behind the scenes, this conference was supposed to be a platform for May to reassert her authority. But her speech was plagued by bad luck and descended into farce, as a prankster handed her …

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