UK – Theresa May Becomes Britain’s Second Female Prime Minister
Date: July 18, 2016
UK -Theresa May Becomes Britain’s Second Female Prime Minister
UK Former Home Secretary Becomes Britain’s New Leader & Is Tasked with Taking the Nation Out of the EU Following the Referendum
New British Prime Minister Theresa May – CREDIT: HANNAH MCKAY/PA WIRE
After weeks of turmoil in British politics following the EU referendum, Theresa May, a Conservative politician, has become Britain’s second female prime minister.
May, 59, accepted an invitation from Queen Elizabeth II on Wednesday to form a new government just minutes after David Cameron, the outgoing prime minister, tendered his resignation to the 90-year-old.
“The government I’ll lead will be driven not by the interests of the privileged few, but by yours,” said May, as she arrived at 10 Downing Street from Buckingham Palace.
Her speech was focused on inclusion, as she promised to fight against “burning injustice”, citing the difficulties of young white working-class men in getting a place at university, black Britons when they need to use the criminal justice system, women in the workplace, mental health patients and young people who hope to own their own homes.
David Cameron’s “true legacy is not about the economy but about social justice”, she said. “In that spirit, I also plan to lead.”
Her appointment comes after weeks of uncertainty after millions of Britons went against her advice, and that of Cameron, and voted to leave the European Union.
Until Wednesday, May was the Home Secretary.
Having failed to convince Britons to vote to remain in the EU, Cameron resigned, opening the way for a brief leadership contest.
May is second female prime minister after Margaret Thatcher, also a Conservative politician, who led the country from 1979 until 1990.
Hours after she swept into Number 10 Downing Street, former London mayor Boris Johnson – who had campaigned heavily for Britain to leave the EU – was named as foreign secretary, while Philip Hammond was appointed Chancellor.
New Cabinet Expected
Al Jazeera’s Barnaby Phillips, reporting from London, said that May was disadvantaged because she did not have much time to form her cabinet.
“The process has been truncated,” our correspondent said.
Now that she is prime minister, May will learn the details of Britain’s nuclear deterrent and receive phone calls from fellow world leaders.
“Those phone calls from [German Chancellor Angela] Merkel and [French President Francois] Hollande will be very interesting in context of the looming Brexit – a British exit from the EU.”
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker urged May to swiftly engage divorce talks with the EU.