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Theresa May

Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

Theresa Mary May (née Brazier, born 1 October 1956) is a British politician and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom since 2016. She was born in Eastbourne, Sussex, and grew up in Oxfordshire.[4][5] She is the Member of Parliament (MP) for the constituency of Maidenhead in the House of Commons. She was the Home Secretary in the David Cameron Conservative government.

The Right Honourable
Theresa May
Theresa May.png
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Assumed office
13 July 2016[1]
Monarch Elizabeth II
Preceded by David Cameron
Leader of the Conservative Party
Assumed office
11 July 2016
Preceded by David Cameron
Home Secretary
In office
12 May 2010 – 13 July 2016
Prime Minister David Cameron
Preceded by Alan Johnson
Succeeded by Amber Rudd
Personal details
Born Theresa Mary Brasier
(1956-10-01) 1 October 1956 (age 61)
Eastbourne, England, United Kingdom
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Philip May (m. 1980)
Alma mater St Hugh's College, Oxford
Religion Anglicanism[2][3]
Website Prime Minister's Office
Theresa May meeting First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon in 2016


Early lifeEdit

May was born on 1 October 1956 in Eastbourne, Sussex. May is the only child of Zaidee Mary (née Barnes; 1928–1982) and Hubert Brasier (1917–1981). Her father was a Church of England clergyman.[4][6][7][8] May was educated at Oxfordshire primary and grammar schools in the State sector, and graduated the University of Oxford in 1977.

Early careerEdit

From 1977 and 1983 May worked at the Bank of England, and from 1985 to 1997 as a financial consultant and senior advisor in International Affairs at the Association for Payment Clearing Services.[9] May's parents died during this period, her father in a car accident in 1981 and her mother of multiple sclerosis a year later.[10][11] May served as a councillor for the London Borough of Merton from 1986 to 1994, where she was Chairman of Education (1988–90) and Deputy Group Leader and Housing Spokesman (1992–94).

Early political workEdit

She first became a Conservative Party MP at the 1997 general election and was promoted to the shadow cabinet in 1999. She held several positions in the shadow cabinet,[12] including Chairman of the Conservative Party (July 2002-November 2003) and Shadow Leader of the House of Commons (December 2005-January 2009).

Home Secretary (2010-2016)Edit

She became the Home Secretary and Minister for Women and Equality on 12 May 2010.

In December 2010, May declared that deployment of water cannon by police forces in mainland Britain was an operational decision which had been "resisted until now by senior police officers."[13] She rejected their use following the widespread rioting in Summer 2011. In 2010, May promised to bring the level of net migration down to less than 100,000.[14] In February 2015, The Independent reported, "The Office for National Statistics (ONS) announced a net flow of 298,000 migrants to the UK in the 12 months to September 2014—up from 210,000 in the previous year."

At the Conservative Party Conference on 4 October 2011, while arguing that the Human Rights Act needed to be amended, May gave the example of a foreign national who the Courts ruled was allowed to remain in the UK, "because—and I am not making this up—he had a pet cat".

In May 2012, she said she supported same-sex marriage. She recorded a video for the Out4Marriage campaign.[15]

In July 2013, May decided to ban the stimulant khat, against the advice of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD). The council said that there was "insufficient evidence" it caused health problems.[16]

Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (since 2016)Edit

2016 Conservative Party leadership electionEdit

May was a candidate in the upcoming election for leadership of the Conservative Party. May described herself as a candidate who will unify the party after a 'divisive' referendum (Brexit).[17][18] She won the first ballot on 5 July 2016 by a large margin with 50% of the votes. On 7 July, May won the votes of 199 MPs, facing the vote of Conservative Party members in a contest with Andrea Leadsom.[19]

Leadsom's withdrawal from the contest on 11 July led to May being set to be appointed party leader and hence, Prime Minister, an office she assumed on 13 July 2016.[20][21]

Early daysEdit

After being appointed by the Queen on 13 July 2016, May became[22] the United Kingdom's second female Prime Minister, after Margaret Thatcher. She is the first female Prime minister of the 21st century.[1]

May told the media on 12 July 2016 that she was "honoured and humbled" to be the party leader and to become prime minister. Responding to some calls for a general election (reported by the news media) to confirm her mandate, "sources close to Mrs May" said there would be no such election according to the BBC.[23]

A big issue May had to tackle during her premiership is Brexit, after Britain voted to leave the European Union. May has led talks with the European Union to plan how the split will happen.

May has also dealt with the war in Iraq and Syria. She has used Britain's military to fight ISIS in both countries. British troops have been in the Battle of Mosul, helping Iraq's military and the Kurdish forces.

General election, 2017Edit

On 18 April 2017 Theresa May surprised people by saying she wanted to have a snap general election on 8 June .[9] The next day the House of Commons voted in favour of holding the general election in June.[9]

At the start of the campaign the Conservatives had a large lead in the polls. As the campaign went on, the Labour Party gained more support and started to rise in the polls. On the day of the election the Conservatives did worse than expected and May lost her majority in the House of Commons.[24]

Personal lifeEdit

She married Philip John May on 6 September 1980. She has no children because she was unable to have them.[25]

In 2013, she was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.[26]

May is a member of the Church of England and regularly worships at church on Sunday.[27]



  • Miss Theresa Brasier (1956–1980)
  • Mrs Philip May (1980–1997)
  • Theresa May MP (1997–2003)
  • The Rt Hon Theresa May MP (2003–present)


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Theresa May to succeed Cameron as UK PM on Wednesday". BBC. 11 July 2016. Retrieved 11 July 2016. 
  2. Gimson, Andrew (20 October 2012). "Theresa May: minister with a mind of her own". The Observer. London. May said: 'I am a practising member of the Church of England, a vicar's daughter.' 
  3. Howse, Christopher (29 November 2014). "Theresa May's Desert Island hymn". The Daily Telegraph. London. The Home Secretary declared that she was a 'regular communicant' in the Church of England 
  4. 4.0 4.1 The International Who's Who. Europa Publications. 2004. p. 1114. 
  5. Davies, Ben (22 May 2001). "Vote 2001:Key People Theresa May Education and Employment". BBC News Online. BBC. Retrieved 20 October 2010. 
  6. Davies, Ben (22 May 2001). "Vote 2001: Key People Theresa May Education and Employment". BBC News. Retrieved 20 October 2010. 
  7. "Index entry". FreeBMD. ONS. 
  8. "Famous family trees: Theresa May". 19 March 2013. Retrieved 1 July 2016. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 "As Theresa May makes a bid for prime minister we look at her first foray into politics". Retrieved 2016-07-09.  Invalid <ref> tag; name ":0" defined multiple times with different content Invalid <ref> tag; name ":0" defined multiple times with different content
  10. Day, Elizabeth. "Theresa May – what lies beyond the public image?". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 July 2016. 
  11. Mendick, Robert. "The Oxford romance that has guided Theresa May from tragedy to triumph". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 12 July 2016. 
  12. "Howard unveils his top team". BBC News Online. BBC. 10 November 2003. Retrieved 9 June 2011. 
  13. Porter, Andrew (12 December 2010). "Police could use water cannon to disperse rioters, Theresa May says". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 9 August 2011. 
  14. "Theresa May to tell Tory conference that mass migration threatens UK cohesion". The Guardian. London. 6 October 2015. 
  15. Home Secretary Theresa May comes @Out4Marriage retrieved 24 May 2012
  16. "Herbal stimulant khat to be banned". BBC News. 3 July 2013.
  17. "Theresa May's Tory Leadership Launch Statement". The Independent. London, UK. 30 June 2016. Retrieved 30 June 2016. 
  18. Elgot, Jessica (30 June 2016). "Theresa May launches Tory leadership bid with pledge to unite country". The Guardian. London, UK. Retrieved 30 June 2016. 
  19. "Theresa May v Andrea Leadsom to be next prime minister". BBC News. 8 July 2016. Retrieved 8 July 2016. 
  20. "Theresa May to succeed Cameron as UK PM on Wednesday". BBC. BBC. 13 July 2016. Retrieved 11 July 2016. The timing of the handover of power from David Cameron looks set to be after PM's questions on Wednesday. 
  21. "Theresa May gives first speech as leader of the Conservative party". The Telegraph. London, UK. 11 July 2016. Retrieved 11 July 2016. 
  22. McKenzie, Sheena. "Theresa May becomes new British Prime Minister". Retrieved 2016-07-13. 
  23. "Tributes for David Cameron at his final cabinet as UK PM". BBC News. BBC. 12 July 2016. Retrieved 12 July 2016. 
  24. "UK election 2017: Conservatives 'to fall short of majority'". BBC. Retrieved 9 June 2017. 
  25. Orr, Deborah (14 December 2009). "Theresa May: David Cameron's lady in waiting". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 June 2011. 
  26. Theresa May diagnosed with diabetes
  27. "Church of England and Theresa May". The Times. 15 March 2012. p. 26. 

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