Five Things To Know About New U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May

Britain’s Home Secretary Theresa May arrives for a meeting at Number 10 Downing Street in London September 1, 2014. May is to be Britain’s next Prime Minister. Luke MacGregor/Reuters


It is all over, then. In the great Shakespearean tragedy that was Brexit, virtually every player is dead on the stage bleeding from multiple stab wounds. Mostly in the back.

There is only one woman left standing: Theresa May, the Home Secretary who will now take over from Cameron as Britain’s second Prime Minister in history. Cameron confirmed her expected succession on Monday after Andrea Leadsom, May’s only rival in the race for leadership of the Conservative party, pulled out of the contest.

So who is May, and what will her premiership be like? Below are five things you need to know;

She thinks there is such a thing as society. In her leadership campaign’s national launch speech on Monday, May set out her vision for her premiership. It was all quite un-Thatcherite (despite the obvious gender comparison) in its focus on society and on reforming capitalism to make it more worker-centric, including a pledge to include employee representatives on company boards. “Transient shareholders… are not the only ones with an interest when firms are sold or close. Workers have a stake, local communities have a stake, and often the whole country has a stake,” she said. Of course, she is also happily been part of a government with a fairly light-touch approach to regulating business and a record of cutting local government funding, so we will need to see how the rhetoric matches up to action.

She is tough on immigration. In charge of the Home Office since 2010, it was May who was mandated to deliver the British government’s drive to reduce net migration into the country to the tens of thousands. This has been woefully unsuccessful, but May has always pushed for tougher immigration policies as a result. She reportedly clashed with Chancellor George Osborne in 2015 over his desire to exempt foreign students from the target, and sanctioned a controversial, later jettisoned pilot scheme that saw vans driving around London warning illegal immigrants to “go home or face arrest.” Despite this, May was a cautious backer of the “Remain” campaign in Britain’s EU referendum.

Full article: Five Things To Know About New U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May (Newsweek)

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