Kevin Schofield: Full marks to Team May in America. So far...
Written by Opinionon 27 January 2017 in
As Theresa May prepares to meet Donald Trump, the PM's chief of staff Nick Timothy could not have scripted a better start to the trip.
As they walked together down the rear stairs of the RAF Voyager which carried Theresa May to Andrews Air Force Base in Washington DC last night, Fiona Hill and Nick Timothy could reflect on a job well done. Their boss had done good.
Inseparable as ever, the prime minister's joint-chiefs of staff chatted happily as they walked briskly across the tarmac to a waiting car. Mrs Hill even managed a little wave to the larger-than-usual travelling press pack, huddled together for warmth against the biting wind.
Earlier, Mrs May had wowed GOP lawmakers at the Republican Retreat gathered at the 5-star Marriott Hotel in central Philadelphia.
She could hardly fail with a speech that name-checked Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan while criticising Iran's "malign" influence in the Middle East and warning the west to "engage but beware" of Putin's Russia.
The GOP lawmakers lapped it up, affording the PM some standing ovations and a hearty round of applause at the end. House Speaker Paul Ryan told Mrs May in a private meeting that the speech was "everything they'd hoped for".
In truth, Number 10 could hardly have scripted day one of her first trip to America as PM any better.
Now for the main event - a meeting with Donald Trump in the Oval Office followed by a press conference. If his first week in the White House is anything to go by, anything could happen.