Theresa May, to be crowned Britain’s prime minster today
Britain is all set for a major reshuffle of its top leadership in the aftermath of Brexit.
Theresa May, will be crowned Britain’s prime minster today, to become the second woman after Margaret Thatcher. May, who is Britain’s current Home Secretary saw a rapid ascent to the premiership which came after her sole challenger, Andrea Leadsom, withdrew from the race expected to last nine weeks.
> 59-year-old Theresa May will be Britain’s second female prime minister.
> On the Middle East: She voted in favour of interventions in Iraq in 2003 and for action in Syria in 2013 (which was vetoed) and again in 2015 (which went through).
> She entered Parliament in 1997 and is currently the longest-serving home secretary in 50 years.
> She started her career at the Bank of England and then moved to the Association for Payment Clearing Services (APACS) before becoming an MP.
> She began her political career stuffing envelopes at her local Conservative Association before becoming a councillor in the London Borough of Merton from 1986 to 1994.
> May used her power as home secretary to impose a rule that would block skilled immigrants from permanently settling in the UK if they made less than £37,000 a year.
> She has repeatedly expressed vociferous opposition to the UK’s historically high immigration levels.
> Theresa May is an avowed feminist: She led a fight to close the UK’s gender wage gap in 2008 and frequently confronts sexist comments about her fondness for stylish shoes.
> May was born on October 1, 1956
> May is living with Type 1 diabetes and injects herself with insulin twice a day.
> She has been married to British banker Philip May since 1980. Allegedly Benazir Bhutto introduced the pair at a Conservative Party disco while they were attending Oxford.
Today, Prime Minister David Cameron will end his six-year tenure in No 10 by tendering his resignation to the Queen.
British expats living in the UAE have expressed surprise and shock at the change in leadership a mere three weeks after the Brexit vote.
“So much has happened since the EU Referendum, it’s like blink and you miss something else happening at Westminster. Theresa May made a speech today and she came across as being capable of taking us forward. All we can do is trust she’ll stick to her words. Good luck to her and us,” says Mary Lambe a British expat.
Gary Carr, however, believes that Theresa May will make a great prime minister. “David Cameron’s legacy depends on it. She’ll take no nonsense from Brussels and will negotiate a good deal for the UK in our divorce settlement. Margaret Thatcher was a great PM and I think Theresa will be even better,” he added. In a win for the feminists he said: “Besides a female prime minister, Labour and UKIP are soon to have female leaders. The US has got Hillary Clinton waiting in the wings and the Germans have Angela Merkel. Women are taking over the world.”
Only time will tell, feels 42-year-old Kate Bell who works in PR. “But if she’s willing to stand up and assume responsibility that many others won’t or aren’t fit to do, then I’d be proud to call her my PM.”
“I didn’t vote for the Conservative Party in the last general election, so, of course, it’s a bit trickier to get onboard with a new Tory PM – regardless of who that person is,” said Sarah Jamie Hay, a PR professional in Dubai. “However, May feels to me like the best of a bad bunch. The last few weeks have been farcical in general and May has at least been more self-assured and composed (and seemingly more dignified than others – Johnson, Leadsom, Gove). Generally, I have concerns around her stance on several key policy areas. But she has, at least, not been afraid to admit where she has made mistakes in the past, like for example, around LGBT rights issues. Hopefully this marks a step in the right direction. What we need now is a leader to navigate us swiftly into a post-Brexit era. It remains to be seen if May will be able to fit those shoes, but we might as well try and be positive!”she adds.
Some, however, expressed distrust over some of May’s earlier political statements.
“Anyone who wants to abolish the human rights act should not be trusted,” says 38-year-old Paul Houston who works in construction.
According to fitness instructor Alan Boney, the UK police will have a tough time as May mentioned thrice in her campaign speech how she had attacked the police about this and that. “More destruction to the police force then,” he added.
Tom Wood, a 29-year-old who works in Abu Dhabi is glad that a new prime minister has been decided. “I have been trying to avoid the post-brexit media coverage of late as it is all fairly reactionary and has had a negative impact on the markets. The announcement of the new PM saw the value of the pound rise as it reduced the amount of uncertainty regarding the future, especially eliminating the threat of Michael Gove being prime minister. Personally I feel May is the best of a bad bunch. It’s positive she was in the Remain camp and her views are slightly less right-wing compared to the other runners. I disagree with many of her policies, but overall I think she will make a good leader of the Conservative Party.”