David Cameron defends Theresa May, but is she a liability?

Theresa May

Theresa May is under the spotlight again after the resignation of Norman Cook as Home Office minister. But is she becoming a burden on the Conservatives ?

David Cameron has been forced to defend his Home Secretary, Theresa May, after former Home Office minister, Norman Baker, described working in the department as being akin to “walking through mud.”

Mr Baker’s resignation comes after he was appointed to the Home Office in October 2013. It also brings fresh problems for Theresa May at a time when she is already facing heavy scrutiny over the government’s historic child abuse inquiry.

His claims that the Home Secretary saw the Lib Dems as “a cuckoo in the nest” raises questions over whether Theresa May is respecting the wishes of the British electorate by refusing to respect the coalition between them and the Conservatives:

"The home secretary was, I think, reluctant to let me have my head and it was a constant battle to try to get things through, and I think that's unfortunate not just for the Home Office but actually for the government."

Nick Clegg, leader of the Lib Dems, has said: “I understand and respct the reasons that he’s given for standing down as a minister”, adding that Mr Baker had been an “outstanding” minister.

With only six months until the next general election, and support for the Conservatives at 33% compared to Labour’s 34%, it is vital the Tories retain their credibility as far as possible to ensure a return to government.

As a key figure of the Conservatives, Theresa May plays a central part in ensuring that their integrity remains in tact, with no slip ups which could damage their chances.

With the resignation of Lady Woolf as chair of the independent inquiry into historical child abuse, the second chair to have done so since its establishment four months ago, Theresa May is already in the spotlight.

May was forced to apologise to victims on Sunday over her handling of the inquiry, stating that she knew many of them would have “lost trust in the authorities” as a result.

Although Mrs May has been saved from having to resign once already during her term, her latest issues prompt the question of whether her remaining in her present role is the right thing for the Conservatives in their pursuit of a majority at the 2015 election.

At a time when they are already being criticised for their handling of spending cuts and reforms, one thing is for sure: the Conservatives can’t afford any more slip ups this close to election day.