November 18, 2019

PM-in-waiting Theresa May promises ‘a better Britain’


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_90354957_mediaitem90354953From BBC

Theresa May promised to build a “better Britain” and to make the ’s EU exit a “success” after she was announced as the new Tory leader and soon-to-be PM.

Speaking outside Parliament, Mrs May said she was “honoured and humbled” to succeed David Cameron, after her only rival in the race withdrew on Monday.

will tender his resignation to the Queen after PMQs on Wednesday.

Mr Cameron, who has been UK prime minister since 2010, decided to quit after the UK’s Brexit vote.

It follows another day of dramatic developments in the political world, when unexpectedly quit the two-way Conservative leadership contest, saying she did not have the support to build “a strong and stable government”.

Her decision left Mrs May – the front runner – as the only candidate to take over leading the party and to therefore become prime minister.

In a speech flanked by dozens of Conservative MPs, Mrs May, the home secretary since 2010, praised Mr Cameron for his stewardship of the Tory party and the country.

And she paid tribute to Mrs Leadsom for her “dignity” in withdrawing her leadership bid, as well as to the three other candidates who ran in the contest.

“I am honoured and humbled to have been chosen by the Conservative Party to become its leader,” Mrs May told the gathered media.

Screen Shot 2016-07-11 at 2.02.07 PMShe said her leadership bid had been based on the need for “strong, proven leadership”, the ability to unite both party and country and a “positive vision” for Britain’s future.

“A vision of a country that works not for the privileged few but that works for every one of us because we’re going to give people more control over their lives and that’s how, together, we will build a better Britain.”

And in a message perhaps designed to reassure Brexit-supporting colleagues, Mrs May – who campaigned to stay in the EU, said: “Brexit means Brexit and we’re going to make a success of it.”

Earlier, in a brief statement outside No 10, Mr Cameron said he was “delighted” that Mrs May was to succeed him in Downing Street.

He said a “prolonged period of transition” was not necessary, and added: “So tomorrow I will chair my last cabinet meeting. On Wednesday I will attend the House of Commons for Prime Minister’s Questions.

_90351531_017563785-1“After that I expect to go the Palace and offer my resignation.”

The prime minister praised Mrs May as “strong” and “competent” and he said she was “more than able to provide the leadership” the UK needs in the coming years.

“She will have my full support,” he added.

What happens next?

The 1922 Committee of Conservative MPs, which is overseeing the leadership contest, has declared Mrs May the new party leader “with immediate effect”.
David Cameron says he will take Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday and then head to and officially tender his resignation to the Queen and recommend she sends for Theresa May as his replacement
Mrs May will then go to Buckingham Palace to see the Queen and receive her invitation to form a government
Theresa May should then be in place as UK prime minister by Wednesday evening – it is not yet clear when the Cameron family will move out of No 10

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Related story:

Why Andrea Leadsom stepped aside for Theresa May

By Laura Kuenssberg Political editor From BBC

The referendum on our place in the EU was only 18 days ago – longer than a decent summer holiday, but only just. On the eve of the vote we thought that it might change just about everything in British politics, the campaign alone felt like it had thrown everything up in the air. And now what happens next has become rapidly clear.

The result claimed the legacy of our current prime minister, and in less than a fortnight, has produced our next one, Theresa May.

Ironically, given that she’s one of the most careful and cautious politicians around and not necessarily a believer in fast decisions, Mrs May will move into No 10 far more quickly than she would ever have imagined, and without having to campaign for the job in the way she and her team had planned for.

By the end of last week she was the clear front-runner, with nearly 200 MPs on board, but many Conservatives felt that their activists around the country could be seriously charmed by Andrea Leadsom.

It looked like the campaign would be closely contested, even though Energy Minister Mrs Leadsom’s experience was nothing like her rival’s. And of course, in the usual rule in leadership contests, the favourite never wins – in this case, the original favourite, Boris Johnson, had already pulled out of the race. So what on earth happened?

The public reasons are clear as the former contender outlined on the steps of what was to be her campaign HQ in one of Westminster’s immaculate side streets.

She said she’d concluded that in the interests of strong leadership, with Theresa May having so much support from MPs and the economy needing certainty in the aftermath of the Brexit vote, it was better to have a rapid transition than a protracted leadership race.

As ever though, one reason does not explain it all, and some of her friends and colleagues have been explaining her other motivations.

She was genuinely taken aback at how her completely accurate quotes were used in the Times story that claimed she believed she was a better candidate to become prime minister because she had children.

There was nothing outlandish about how the quotes themselves were used, although Mrs Leadsom had also made clear that she didn’t want the contest to be dominated by her family status.

But it was an early realisation for her that she had opened herself up to a level of scrutiny that was completely new. That followed what she told me was “ridiculous” criticism about her career before Parliament, suggestions that she had doctored or at the very least embellished her CV.

What friends say was the problem, rather than these stories themselves, was how her Tory colleagues, opponents in this contest were willing to use the claims.

Her campaign manager Tim Loughton accused them of “putting smear above respect”. Another colleague says she’d been subject to “vile” texts and messages from colleagues; “the abuse was simply too much”.

The campaign was worried, with some rivals focused on doing her down, they were worried that if she won, having persuaded the party membership, that she would always struggle to get her MPs on board.

Steve Baker, one of her supporters, told me it was nonsense to suggest that she would become a Tory version of Jeremy Corbyn, but that there were possible “parallels”.

It would have been hard for her to govern without reliable backing from Tory MPs, even if the members had been enraptured. As David Cameron has found, a majority of only 12 makes it hard enough to govern, even if the backbenchers are broadly on side.

Her critics will say her decision makes precisely their point. She wasn’t ready for the job, and not prepared to put up with its demands. But whatever her true motivations, it is now Theresa May who’ll be immediately subject to the kind of intense microscope that only No 10 brings.

The home secretary will go to Downing Street for cabinet tomorrow morning for the last time in that job. The next time her black armoured Jag glides up the street, she’ll arrive to walk in as our next PM.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Andrea Leadsom announced she was quitting on Monday morning.

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