Britain could soon have a Prime Minister and Lib Dem leader both from York

Could a Yorkie soon live at this address? Photograph © Number 10 on Flickr
21 Jun 2017 @ 7.41 pm
| News, Politics

Is it just us, or is York having a moment?

It played a pivotal role in the General Election. First, Prime Minister Theresa May appear at a widely-criticised, closed door press conference at the Barbican Centre.

Next the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn held a rally in St Helen’s Square which went national.

Then Mr Corbyn made a keynote campaign speech at York Science Park.

And only hours later both leaders took part in a live Question Time in front of an audience at the University of York – also scene of a demo.

What next?

Sir Vince, pictured in 2015. Photograph: Peter Byrne / PA

Once the election was over we might have expected York’s role in national politics to fade.

But it now emerges that two of the most powerful roles in Britain could soon be taken by men from this little old city.

Right now, the Liberal Democrats are searching for a new leader after Tim Farron resigned following his lacklustre election campaign.

And the only candidate so far is Sir Vince Cable – a son of York.

Sir Vince, the business secretary in the Tory-Lib Dem coalition a few years’ back, was born in York in 1943, and went to Nunthorpe Grammar School.

He twice campaigned to be York MP, in the 1983 and 1987 General Elections, before being elected as member for Twickenham in 1997.

Keys to Number 10

Next PM? David Davis. Photograph © Number 10 on Flickr

But York may have an even bigger fish to fry. Although the current incumbent of Number 10 is southerner Theresa May, few expect her to be there for long.

After her election gamble spectacularly backfired and left the Tories clinging on to power in a hung Parliament, her potential successors are circling.

And the hot favourite to replace Mrs May is David Davis – a son of York.

The Brexit Secretary is currently

  • 3/1 favourite with BetFred and Ladbrokes
  • 11/4 favourite with William Hill
  • and 5/2 favourite with PaddyPower

to be the next Conservative leader.

And here’s a thought – if the Tories and Lib Dems decide to go for a coalition this Parliament, we could see a York-born PM and Deputy PM.

How they square up

Vince Cable

Born: York, May 9, 1943

Family: His father, Len, was a craftsman for Rowntree and his mother packed chocolates for Terry’s

Education: Nunthorpe Grammar School, Cambridge University

Now: Lib Dem treasury spokesman

York quote: ‘My parents came from working-class families in York. Both my mother and father had jobs in factories. I was a milkman at one point when I was 16 or 17 and worked on York railway station selling pasties.’

David Davis

Born: York, Dec 23, 1948

Family: Born to a single mother, Betty Brown, he was initially brought up by his grandparents in Long Close Lane off Walmgate, then moved to London aged four

Education: Bec Grammar School, Tooting

Now: Brexit secretary

York quote: ‘I remember the distinction going from a prefab in York with electricity and an indoor loo to a slum in London and it was clear to me which was the better place’

Jezza’s York connections

Jeremy Corbyn at a rally in York during the election campaign. Photograph: YorkMix

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn may not have had the decency to be born in York but he has forged quite strong connections with the city.

These are through his son Tommy. He was, until last year, studying electrical engineering and nanotechnology at the University of York.

His knowledge of all things digital meant he was able to co-produce a video for his Dad’s manifesto launch.

And, according to the Telegraph,

a frequenter of Grime nights in York, Tommy’s passion for the genre may have been a driving force in the Grime 4 Corbyn Movement which engaged a formerly disinterested pocket of the electorate.

York? Just the centre of the political universe.