Cameron to quit Wednesday; Theresa May to be new British PM

by Wade Massey July 12, 2016, 17:27

Mrs May will succeed David Cameron, who announced he was stepping down after Britons voted last month to quit the European Union.

Because the Conservative Party has an outright majority in Parliament, the person it chooses as party leader will also become the next prime minister. For a member of the Conservative party, May has been quite progressive on a number of issues.

That should mean good news for Boris Johnson and Andrea Leadsom, both of whom are tipped for the Cabinet.

May and Leadsom had been due to contest a ballot of grassroots Conservative party members, with the result to be declared by September 9.

Cameron's announcement came moments after Andrea Leadsom said she was dropping out of the party leadership race. She attracted controversy over the weekend after appearing to suggest that she would make a better a Prime Minister than Mrs May because she "has children". And the next election is not scheduled until 2020, meaning May could have four years in office before facing a national vote.

She has been married to British banker Philip May since 1980. The couple have been married 35 years.

May will become Britain's second female prime minister, after Margaret Thatcher. Serving as party chairwoman in 2002, she warned that the Conservatives had become known as "the nasty party" and needed to change their ways and broaden their appeal.

Labour lawmaker Angela Eagle on Monday launched an attempt to unseat party leader Jeremy Corbyn, a veteran left-winger who has a strong base of support among Labour members but little backing from the party's 229 lawmakers.

Sky News recorded Clarke's remarks, though he apparently was not aware the camera was rolling as he spoke with Malcolm Rifkind, a former foreign secretary.

Britain's Home Secretary Theresa May arrives to attend a cabinet meeting at 10 Downing Street, in London, Tuesday, July 12, 2016.

"The aim is to create here in Britain a really hostile environment for illegal migration", May said in 2013.

Of the referendum, she added: "This vote was a message for millions in our country who felt that no-one had listened to them for a very long time".

May campaigned tepidly to remain in the European Union, but sought to reassure those who voted "leave" that she would respect their decision. But many doubt the sincerity of the erstwhile Remain campaigner.

"I think there are great advantages in getting a prime minister in place as quickly as possible, I think Theresa May will do a great job, she has my full support and I think now is the start of a process of making a success of the Brexit decision", she said. "We need a bold new positive vision for the future of our country - a vision of a country that works not for the privileged few, but for every one of us".

The pound, which has hit 31-year lows since the June 23 referendum vote on concern about potential damage to the British economy, bounced briefly on the news that the Conservative leadership question would be resolved much sooner than expected. She is not flashy, does not call attention to herself, and had seemed content with her public role as a loyal Cameron backer.

She will inherit a host of hard challenges.

But she'll also have to show the pro-Brexit voters that she's working to pull the country out of the EU.

Home Secretary Theresa May, 59, is not well-known internationally, but she has served for six years in one of Britain's toughest jobs, playing an important role in counter-terrorism policy, and will now take charge of delicate negotiations to separate Britain from the European Union.

So what else do you need to know about Theresa May?

May describes cooking and walking as primary hobbies, and if you're wondering whether walking can really be classified as a hobby, she elaborated in a column for Balance magazine, in which she wrote of her battle with diabetes.

Supporters say she has steely determination, pays attention to detail and focuses on getting on with the job at hand.

It was, in effect, her annual report to the party faithful.

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