Philip May has been ‘tower of strength’ to PM during Brexit process

Philip May has been a “tower of strength” to the Prime Minister during the Brexit process, her constituency Conservative Association chairman has said.

Richard Kellaway, chairman of the Maidenhead Association, said Mr May was a “thinking man’s Denis Thatcher” and a “very solid sort of chap”.

Mr Kellaway sees the Prime Minister and her husband about twice a month to campaign in Maidenhead, where she has a majority of 26,000.

He said that while Mrs May does not discuss internal Cabinet rifts with her local association, Mr May had a strong influence on her decision-making.

“I have little discussions with Philip May occasionally, to get his thoughts and ideas,” Mr Kellaway said.

Theresa May enjoys a forest walk with her husband Philip
Theresa May enjoys a forest walk with her husband Philip (Marco Bertorello/PA)

“He’s a very solid sort of chap. He’s got a lot of political nous. At Oxford, he was president of the Union and she didn’t do anything.

“He is a tower of strength really. He’s a thinking man’s Denis Thatcher.

“Philip’s a bit more involved than Denis Thatcher would have been in the politics.”

Mr Kellaway said if Theresa May managed to pass a deal in Parliament, she would likely stand down.

A replacement leader should take a harder stance on Brexit, he said.

“Her thinking was that if she gets any deal through, she would step away and let someone else lead the Conservative Party,” he said.

“I suppose the logic is that it should be a sterner Brexiteer to do it.

“We don’t discuss this with her, she won’t discuss it with us.

“She was out canvassing on Saturday but we don’t have earnest discussions on the pavement.”

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