YESTERDAY, within minutes of Theresa May walking off stage, her ministers and MPs were publicly applauding her. commending her bravery for carrying on in the face of coughing fits, pranks and a set that fell apart.

“It was the epitome of real character, perseverance and tenacity. The PM gave us all a renewed sense of patriotic duty and mission,” Stirling Tory MP Stephen Kerr said.

“If ever the PM needed a metaphor for service and duty and resolution through adversity, that battling performance was it,” said Ruth Davidson.

Loading article content

Michael Gove told The Telegraph: “I witnessed a great speech from a Prime Minister at top of her game.”

Another Tory minister was a little more honest. Speaking anonymously they told the Sun: “What the f***king f**k, f**k, f**k. F**k.”

READ MORE: Lesley Riddoch: May's speech was full of offensively dishonest assertions ... what planet is she on?

This was supposed to be the most important speech of her career.

And in fairness, of all the speeches she’s given, it’s this one that will be remembered more than all the others. It’ll be this speech, accompanied by the picture of comedian Simon Brodkin handing over a P45, that might even define her time in office.

May’s supporters believe her rotten luck will make her more sympathetic to the public. But the Prime Minister and a dysfunctional Tory party have made their own luck.

How on earth did Brodkin get in? He has form. It was Brodkin, also known for his Lee Nelson character, who showered Sepp Blatter in money at a Fifa conference, and distributed Nazi-themed golf balls when Donald Trump reopened his Turnberry golf course. Surely every press officer in the country must be aware of him. It’s a real faff to get credentials for a party conference; certainly one attended by the Prime Minister.

Given that he even applied using his own name it seems ridiculous that nobody picked up on that.

And then the cold. The poorly, voice-stealing cold. You’d have sympathy for May until you learned that on Tuesday she did 26 interviews! 26! Even though she was feeling unwell, instead of resting her voice, her press officers still wheeled her out for 26 interviews.

Are there even 26 people to be interviewed by? Was The National the only paper not offered an interview?

And if your speech’s slogan is “building a country that’s better for everyone” then make sure it’s not attached to a wall with magnets that fall off when there’s a wee round of applause.

As the speech went on, I thought of the Scottish Cup Final in 2000, between Rangers and Aberdeen, when Dons’ keeper Jim Leighton had his jaw fractured three minutes into the game, and striker Robbie Winters had to go in goal. The result was inevitable, brutal, even.

Though back then swathes of Aberdeen fans left before the 90 minutes was up, heading to the pub or home. The Tories don’t really have that option. They don’t even have a Robbie Winters.

This speech was supposed to keep May in power, it was supposed to warn off Boris Johnson and reaffirm that Number 10 is very much occupied. It failed.

May could be gone in days.