Ben Worthy

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    Secretively open: identifying patterns in Theresa May’s approach to secrecy

Secretively open: identifying patterns in Theresa May’s approach to secrecy

Theresa May presides over one of the leakiest governments in British history, with claims from ministers often undermined by a leak saying the exact opposite. Ben Worthy reads the runes of May’s approach to secrecy and attempts to find a common pattern from her Home Office years and into her premiership.

Most prime ministers have an awkward relationship with the […]

Theresa May: leaking leadership capital?

Analysing the components of political leadership, Ben Worthy and Mark Bennister review Theresa May’s leadership capital. They conclude that, although she may gain capital after an election win, her strained relations with her Cabinet and the ongoing crises of Brexit, Scotland, and Northern Ireland may eventually diminish her reputation.

Measuring leadership is a tricky business. Our work has experimented with […]

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    Rebels running London? The mayoralties of Ken and Boris compared

Rebels running London? The mayoralties of Ken and Boris compared

With the upcoming mayoral elections, our attention turns to mayors and their powers. Ben Worthy and Mark Bennister reflect on the terms of Ken Livingstone and Boris Johnson. They draw on their new paper to explain what it is that we can learn from how the two first elected mayors of London ran the city.

To lead a huge […]

Theresa May’s snap election: historic or Pyrrhic?

Will the Prime Minister’s decision to call an early election work in her favour? Ben Worthy looks at the data from previous ‘takeover’ prime ministers. He concludes that an election victory will free Theresa May from the short fate of other takeovers but won’t, in itself, help her secure a long or more stable premiership.

When Theresa May became Prime […]

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    The take-over: Prime Ministers without a popular mandate, 1916-2016

The take-over: Prime Ministers without a popular mandate, 1916-2016

There are more or less two routes to becoming Prime Minister. You can either win a General Election or win a party leadership election to become head of the largest party when a Prime Minister leaves. Having just achieved the second route, Theresa May has become our ‘takeover’ leader. Here, Ben Worthy discusses the history of this route to […]

Why is real leadership in such short supply in UK politics?

In the aftermath of the referendum, the UK seems to be suffering from individual and collective leadership failure, write Mark Bennister and Ben Worthy. The use of fear tactics instead of thought-through strategies and of quick fixes instead of long-term visions are some of the reasons behind this failure.

Long-serving leadership is in short supply in the UK. The longest-serving […]

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    Open Up or Shut Up? David Cameron’s three transparency problems

Open Up or Shut Up? David Cameron’s three transparency problems

Politicians who guarantee greater transparency frequently find their promises coming back to haunt them. Ben Worthy writes that although the Prime Minister has done nothing against the law, his high profile bid to tackle tax evasion and castigation of tax dodgers in the past left him open to charges of hypocrisy when his own tax affairs came under the spotlight last week.

Promises of transparency […]