She’s beaten off all competition to be the next Conservative Party leader and now faces the challenge of being the next Prime Minister.
May will be the UK’s second female Prime Minister, following Margaret
Thatcher, and has pledged to steer Britain through “political and
economic uncertainty” in the coming months following the UK’s decision
to leave the EU.
Theresa May was born in Eastbourne in 1956 to Christian vicar Hubert Brasier and his wife Zaidee. She attended Holton Park Girls’ School and then went on to study Geography at St Hugh’s College, Oxford. It was during her time at university where Theresa met her husband Phillip May. The pair married in 1980.
Key moments in her political career
From 1999, May has secured various positions within the Shadow Cabinet across different sectors including: Education and Employment, Work and Pensions, Transport, Media and Sport.
When the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats formed their coalition in 2010, May became a key presence in David Cameron’s first cabinet and from 2010-2012 May served as Minister for Women and Equality.
May has been the longest serving Home Secretary in 50 years, holding the position for six years. During her time as Home Secretary she has received mixed criticism. One of May’s celebrated successes was in 2013 when she secured the deportation of radical Muslim preacher Abu Qatada. However, despite taking a tough stance on immigration, under her charge net migrated reached highest levels (around 330,000), leaving the Conservative government under pressure to reduce the figure to below 100,000.
Past political outlooks
In 2012 May released a video supporting the government’s equal marriage proposal, in which she explained marriage should be available to everyone.
Unlike Thatcher who did not call herself a feminist, May often advises younger women never to be afraid of doing things differently to men. May has frequently been described as a liberal Conservative, once telling the Tory party to stop being the “nasty party”. She also claims to support gender equality and gay marriage (despite voting against gay adoption rights in 2002).
In July 2013 the Home Office pushed out a controversial pilot scheme involving anti-immigration billboards on vans in London. The boards encouraged immigrants to “go home” and was banned by the Advertising Standards Authority.
May has consistently spoken out against the European Convention of Human Rights and hinted Britain should withdraw regardless of the referendum result.
More recently, May’s position on Brexit has been described by many as a “reluctant Remainder”. After signing up to the Remain campaign she kept a noticeably low profile during the political campaign.
Pledged political policies as PM
Theresa May has pledged to deliver “serious social reform” and has vowed to give consumers and staff seats on company boards, in an attempt to crack down on “corporate irresponsibility”.
May has also demonstrated her commitment to Britain leaving the EU, saying in a speech, “Brexit means Bexit and we are going to make a success of it.”
What do commentators have to say about Theresa May?
Ken Clarke, former Conservative Minister was caught off-camera describing May as a “bloody difficult women.”
The Guardian’s Editorial Staff, “She is in some ways the most interesting and hard-to-read Tory leader
since John Major, what Donald Rumsfeld would have called a known
unknown. But she comes to office at a time that would have challenged a