Amber Rudd, the home secretary, has hired the pollster Sir Lynton Crosby to help to craft her next election campaign in a move that will fuel speculation she is preparing a leadership bid.
Ms Rudd must convince Tory MPs that she can hold on to her seat at the next election if she is to emerge as a serious candidate to replace Theresa May. Her majority in Hastings & Rye fell from 4,796 to 346 in June.
She has engaged Sir Lynton’s firm, CTF Partners, to shore up her defence of the seat, The Times has learnt.
There is that matter of saving her seat of course. But as PM? Sirsly?