|Nick Name:||Mrs May|
|Height:||168 cm (5' 7'')|
|Birth Day:||October 1, 1956|
|Birth Place:||Eastbourne, England|
Before becoming a member of Parliament in the late 1990s, she earned a bachelor's degree in geography from the University of Oxford and worked for the Bank of England.
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 (and an Anglo-Catholic) who was chaplain of an Eastbourne hospital. He later became vicar of Enstone with Heythrop and finally of St Mary's at Wheatley, to the east of Oxford. May's mother was a supporter of the Conservative Party. Her father died in 1981, from injuries sustained in a car accident, and her mother of multiple sclerosis the following year. May later stated she was "sorry they [her parents] never saw me elected as a Member of Parliament".
At the age of 13, she won a place at the former Holton Park Girls' Grammar School, a state school in Wheatley. During her time as a pupil, the Oxfordshire education system was reorganised, and the school became the new Wheatley Park Comprehensive School. May attended the University of Oxford, read geography at St Hugh's College, and graduated with a second class BA degree in 1977. She worked at a bakery on Saturdays to earn pocket money and was a "tall, fashion-conscious young woman who from an early age spoke of her ambition to be the first woman prime minister," according to those who knew her. According to a university friend, Pat Frankland: "I cannot remember a time when she did not have political ambitions. I well remember, at the time, she was quite irritated when Margaret Thatcher got there first."
Between 1977 and 1983, May worked at the Bank of England, and from 1985 to 1997, at the Association for Payment Clearing Services (APACS), as a financial consultant. She served as Head of the European Affairs Unit from 1989 to 1996 and Senior Adviser on International Affairs from 1996 to 1997 in the organisation.
May initially attended Heythrop Primary School, a state school in Heythrop, followed by St. Juliana's Convent School for Girls, a Roman Catholic independent school in Begbroke, which closed in 1984.
In the 1992 general election May was the Conservative Party candidate for the safe Labour seat of North West Durham, placing second to incumbent MP Hilary Armstrong, with future Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron placing third. May then stood at the 1994 Barking by-election, which was prompted by the death of Labour MP Jo Richardson. The seat had been continuously held by Labour since it was created in 1945, and Labour candidate Margaret Hodge was expected to win easily, which she did. May placed a distant third.
May's appointment as Minister for Women and Equalities was controversial, and was met with criticism by many in the LGBT community due to May's record of consistently opposing LGBT rights from 1997-2004: she voted against equalising the age of consent in 1998, she spoke in favour of Section 28 in 2001, and she spoke against greater adoption rights for homosexuals in 2002. May later stated, during an appearance on the BBC's Question Time in 2010, that she had "changed her mind" on gay adoption. Writing for PinkNews in June 2010, May detailed proposals for improving LGBT rights including measures to tackle homophobia in sport, advocating British society's need for "cultural change".
In 1998, May voted against lowering the age of consent for homosexual acts, and was absent for the vote on the repeal of Section 28 in 2003. In May 2012, however, May expressed support for the introduction of same-sex marriage by recording a video for the Out4Marriage campaign, in which she stated "I believe if two people care for each other, if they love each other, if they want to commit to each other... then they should be able to get married and marriage should be for everyone". In May 2013, May voted in favour of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, which legalised same-sex marriage in England and Wales.
Having entered Parliament, May became a member of William Hague's front-bench Opposition team, as Shadow Spokesman for Schools, Disabled People and Women (1998–1999). She became the first of the 1997 MPs to enter the Shadow Cabinet when in 1999 she was appointed Shadow Education and Employment Secretary. After the 2001 election the new Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith kept her in the Shadow Cabinet, moving her to the Transport portfolio.
In 2001, she was made a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Marketors.
May was appointed the first female Chairman of the Conservative Party in July 2002. During her speech at the 2002 Conservative Party Conference, she explained why, in her view, her party must change: "You know what people call us? The Nasty Party. In recent years a number of politicians have behaved disgracefully and then compounded their offences by trying to evade responsibility. We all know who they are. Let's face it, some of them have stood on this platform." She accused some unnamed colleagues of trying to "make political capital out of demonising minorities", and charged others with indulging themselves "in petty feuding or sniping instead of getting behind a leader who is doing an enormous amount to change a party which has suffered two landslide defeats". She admitted that constituency selection committees seemed to prefer candidates they would "be happy to have a drink with on a Sunday morning", continuing to say, "At the last general election 38 new Tory MPs were elected. Of that total, only one was a woman and none was from an ethnic minority. Is that fair? Is one half of the population entitled to only one place out of 38?"
May is known for a love of fashion, and in particular of distinctive shoes; she wore leopard-print shoes at her 'Nasty Party' speech in 2002, as well as her final Cabinet meeting as Home Secretary in 2016. On Desert Island Discs in 2014, she chose a subscription to Vogue as her luxury item. However, she has been critical of the media focusing on her fashion instead of her achievements as a politician.
In 2003, after Michael Howard's election as Conservative Party and Opposition Leader in November that year, May was appointed Shadow Secretary of State for Transport and the Environment.
In June 2004, she was moved to become Shadow Secretary of State for the Family. Following the 2005 general election she was also made Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. David Cameron appointed her Shadow Leader of the House of Commons in December 2005 after his accession to the leadership. In January 2009, May was made Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.
In 2005, May co-founded the mentoring and pressure group Women2Win. This group and May's personal efforts have been credited with increasing the number of Conservative women MPs and with supporting them. In government she lobbied for improvements to maternity leave, and as Home Secretary she acted on FGM and introduced a law on coercive control. However, she has been criticised for the financial cuts made by her government, which have been claimed to have had the greatest impact on poor and vulnerable women.
On 6 May 2010, May was re-elected MP for Maidenhead with an increased majority of 16,769 – 60% of the vote. This followed an earlier failed attempt by the Liberal Democrats to unseat her in 2005, as one of that party's leading "decapitation-strategy" targets.
On 12 May 2010, when May was appointed Home Secretary and Minister for Women and Equality by Prime Minister David Cameron as part of his first Cabinet, she became the fourth woman to hold one of the British Great Offices of State, after Margaret Thatcher (Prime Minister), Margaret Beckett (Foreign Secretary) and Jacqui Smith (Home Secretary). As Home Secretary, May was also a member of the National Security Council. She was the longest-serving Home Secretary for over 60 years, since James Chuter Ede who served over six years and two months from August 1945 to October 1951. May's appointment as Home Secretary was somewhat unexpected, with Chris Grayling having served as shadow Home Secretary in opposition.
May's debut as Home Secretary involved overturning several of the previous Labour government's measures on data collection and surveillance in England and Wales. By way of a government bill which became the Identity Documents Act 2010, she brought about the abolition of the Labour government's National Identity Card and database scheme and reformed the regulations on the retention of DNA samples for suspects and controls on the use of CCTV cameras. In May 2010, May announced the adjournment of the deportation to the United States of alleged computer hacker Gary McKinnon. She also suspended the registration scheme for carers of children and vulnerable people, with May saying that the measures were "draconian. You were assumed to be guilty until you were proven innocent, and told you were able to work with children." On 4 August 2010, it was reported that May was scrapping the former Labour government's proposed "go orders" scheme to protect women from domestic violence by banning abusers from the victim's home.
In June 2010, May faced her first major national security incident as Home Secretary with the Cumbria shootings. She delivered her first major speech in the House of Commons as Home Secretary in a statement on this incident, later visiting the victims with the Prime Minister. Also in June 2010, May banned the Indian Muslim preacher Zakir Naik from entering the United Kingdom.
Speaking at the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) conference in June 2010, May announced radical cuts to the Home Office budget, likely to lead to a reduction in police numbers. In July 2010, May presented the House of Commons with proposals for a fundamental review of the previous Labour government's security and counter-terrorism legislation, including "stop and search" powers, and her intention to review the 28-day limit on detaining terrorist suspects without charge.
In July 2010, May announced a package of reforms to policing in England and Wales in the House of Commons. The previous Labour Government's central crime agency, Soca (Serious Organised Crime Agency), was to be replaced by a new National Crime Agency. In common with the Conservative Party 2010 general election manifesto's flagship proposal for a "Big Society" based on voluntary action, May also proposed increasing the role of civilian "reservists" for crime control. The reforms were rejected by the Opposition Labour Party.
On 9 December 2010, in the wake of violent student demonstrations in central London against increases to higher-education tuition fees, May praised the actions of the police in controlling the demonstrations but was described by The Daily Telegraph as "under growing political pressure" due to her handling of the protests.
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." She rejected their use following the widespread rioting in summer 2011 and said: "the way we police in Britain is not through use of water cannon. The way we police in Britain is through consent of communities." May said: "I condemn utterly the violence in Tottenham... Such disregard for public safety and property will not be tolerated, and the Metropolitan Police have my full support in restoring order."
In July 2010, May proposed to review the previous Labour Government's anti-social behaviour legislation signalling the abolition of the "Anti-Social Behaviour Order" (ASBO). She identified the policy's high level of failure with almost half of ASBOs breached between 2000 and 2008, leading to "fast-track" criminal convictions. May proposed a less punitive, community-based approach to tackling social disorder. May suggested that anti-social behaviour policy "must be turned on its head", reversing the ASBO's role as the flagship crime control policy legislation under Labour. Former Labour Home Secretaries David Blunkett (who introduced ASBOs) and Alan Johnson expressed their disapproval of the proposals.
In 2010, May promised to bring the level of net migration down to less than 100,000. The Independent reported in February 2015, "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." In total, 624,000 people migrated to the UK in the year ending September 2014 and 327,000 left in the same period. Statistics showed "significant increases in migration among both non-EU citizens—up 49,000 to 292,000—and EU citizens, which rose by 43,000 to 251,000."
On 2 July 2010, May stated she would be supporting the previous Labour Government's Anti-Discrimination Laws enshrined in the Equality Act 2010 despite having previously opposed it. The Equality Act came into effect in England, Wales and Scotland on 1 October 2010. She did however announce that a clause she dubbed "Harman's Law" which would have required public bodies to consider how they can reduce socio-economic inequalities when making decisions about spending and services would be scrapped on the grounds that it was "unworkable".
At the Conservative Party Conference in 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 response, the Royal Courts of Justice issued a statement, denying that this was the reason for the tribunal's decision in that case, and stating that the real reason was that he was in a genuine relationship with a British partner, and owning a pet cat was simply one of many pieces of evidence given to show that the relationship was "genuine". The Home Office had failed to apply its own rules for dealing with unmarried partners of people settled in the UK. Amnesty International said May's comments only fuelled "myths and misconceptions" about the Human Rights Act and Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke subsequently called May's comments "laughable and childlike."
In 2012, despite inquiries by both Scotland Yard and the Independent Police Complaints Commission ruling that there was no new evidence to warrant further investigation, after discussions with Dame Doreen Lawrence, May commissioned Mark Ellison to review Scotland Yard's investigations into alleged police corruption. The report was presented to Parliament by May on 6 March 2014. Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police said the report, which has prompted an inquiry into undercover policing, was "devastating".
In May 2012 she told the Daily Telegraph of her intention "to create here in Britain a really hostile environment for illegal migration,"
In June 2012, Theresa May announced that new restrictions would be introduced to reduce the number of non-European Economic Area family migrants. The changes were mostly intended to apply to new applicants after 9 July 2012.
The newly introduced rules came into effect on 9 July 2012 allowing only those British citizens earning more than £18,600 to bring their spouses or their children to live with them in the UK. This figure would rise significantly in cases where visa applications are also made for children. They also increased the current two-year probationary period for partners to 5 years. The rules also prevent any adult and elderly dependents from settling in the UK unless they can demonstrate that, as a result of age, illness or disability, they require a level of long-term personal care that can only be provided by a relative in the UK.
In June 2012, May was found in contempt of court by Judge Barry Cotter, and stood accused of "totally unacceptable and regrettable behaviour", being said to have shown complete disregard for a legal agreement to free an Algerian from a UK Immigration Detention Centre. As she eventually allowed the prisoner to be freed, May avoided further sanctions including fines or imprisonment.
May welcomed the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, saying that "no one is above the law." Assange had fled to the Ecuadorian embassy in London in 2012 after being accused of sexual assault in Sweden. He is also wanted by the US for "conspiracy to commit computer intrusion" relating to the Wikileaks release of classified material in 2010, including footage of US soldiers killing civilians in Iraq.
May was diagnosed with diabetes mellitus of type 1 in November 2012. She is treated with daily insulin injections.
In August 2013, May supported the detention of David Miranda, partner of Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, under the Terrorism Act 2000, saying that critics of the Metropolitan Police action needed to "think about what they are condoning". Lib Dem peer and former Director of Public Prosecutions Ken Macdonald accused May of an "ugly and unhelpful" attempt to implicate those who were concerned about the police action of "condoning terrorism". The High Court subsequently acknowledged there were "indirect implications for press freedom" but ruled the detention legal.
In July 2013, May welcomed the fact that crime had fallen by more than 10% under the coalition government, while still being able to make savings. She said that this was partly due to the government removing red tape and scrapping targets to allow the police to concentrate on crime-fighting.
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 reached the conclusion that there was "insufficient evidence" it caused health problems. Explaining the change in the classification May said: "The decision to bring khat under control is finely balanced and takes into account the expert scientific advice and these broader concerns", and pointed out that the product had already been banned in the majority of other EU member states, as well as most of the G8 countries including Canada and the US. A report on khat use by the ACMD published in January 2013 had noted the product had been associated with "acute psychotic episodes", "chronic liver disease" and family breakdown. However, it concluded that there is no risk of harm for most users, and recommended that khat remain uncontrolled due to lack of evidence for these associations.
May responded to a Supreme Court decision in November 2013 to overturn her predecessor Jacqui Smith's revocation of Iraqi-born terror suspect Al Jedda's British citizenship by ordering it to be revoked for a second time, making him the first person to be stripped twice of British citizenship.
On 7 July 2013, Abu Qatada, a radical cleric arrested in 2002, was deported to Jordan after a decade-long battle that had cost the nation £1.7 million in legal fees, and several prior Home Secretaries had not resolved. The deportation was the result of a treaty negotiated by May in April 2013, under which Jordan agreed to give Qatada a fair trial, by not using evidence that may have been obtained against him through torture.
May pointed to Qatada's deportation as a triumph, guaranteeing in September 2013 that "he will not be returning to the UK", and declaring in her 2016 leadership campaign announcement that she was told that she "couldn't deport Abu Qatada" but that she "flew to Jordan and negotiated the treaty that got him out of Britain for good". The Qatada deportation also shaped May's views on the European Convention on Human Rights and European Court of Human Rights, saying that they had "moved the goalposts" and had a "crazy interpretation of our human rights laws", as a result, May has since campaigned against the institutions, saying that British withdrawal from them should be considered.
In August 2013, the Home Office engaged in an advertising campaign directed at illegal immigrants. The advertisements, in the form of mobile advertising hoardings on the back of lorries, told illegal immigrants to "go home or face arrest", with an image of a person in handcuffs, and were deployed in six London boroughs with substantial ethnic minority populations. They were widely criticised as creating a hostile atmosphere for members of ethnic minority groups. The shadow Home Secretary, Yvette Cooper, described their language as being reminiscent of that used by the National Front in the 1970s. An adjudication by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said that "the claim [that 106 arrests were made last week] was misleading and had not been substantiated" was followed by the advertisements being withdrawn after being banned by the ASA.
She was nominated as one of the Society's Inspiring Women of 2006. In February 2013, BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour described her as Britain's second-most powerful woman after Queen Elizabeth II; May was Home Secretary at the time, and the most senior woman in that government.
In 2014, May delivered a speech to the Police Federation, in which she criticised aspects of the culture of the police force. In the speech, she said:
In mid 2014, the Passport Office faced a backlog in developing processing passport applications, with around 30,000 applications hit by delays. David Cameron suggested this had come about due to the Passport Office's receiving an "above normal" 300,000-rise in applications. It was revealed, however, that May had been warned the year before, in July 2013, that a surge of 350,000 extra applications could occur owing to the closure of processing overseas under Chancellor Osborne's programme of cuts. Around £674,000 was paid to staff who helped clear the backlog.
In June 2014, an inflamed public argument arose between Home Office and Education Ministers about responsibility for alleged extremism in Birmingham schools. Prime Minister David Cameron intervened to resolve the row, insisting that May sack her Special Advisor Fiona Cunningham (now Hill) for releasing on May's website a confidential letter to May's colleagues, and that Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, apologise to the Home Office's head of Security and Counter-Terrorism, Charles Farr, for uncomplimentary briefings of him appearing on the front page of The Times.
On 30 November 2014, May was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the World Sikh University.
May also championed legislation popularly dubbed the Snooper's Charter, requiring internet and mobile service providers to keep records of internet usage, voice calls, messages and email for up to a year in case police requested access to the records while investigating a crime. The Liberal Democrats had blocked the first attempt, but after the Conservative Party obtained a majority in the 2015 general election May announced a new Draft Investigatory Powers Bill similar to the Draft Communications Data Bill, although with more limited powers and additional oversight.
In 2015, while May was Home Secretary, an 18% funding cut in the police force had taken place with the loss of around 20,000 police officers. Before the Manchester Arena bombing and after the Paris attacks, she was warned by a Manchester senior police officer that the cuts on the force and community policing risked terror attacks in the city due to the lack of resources to do proper intelligence and anti-terrorist measures.
May rejected the European Union's proposal of compulsory refugee quotas. She said that it was important to help people living in war-zone regions and refugee camps but "not the ones who are strong and rich enough to come to Europe". In May 2016, The Daily Telegraph reported that she had tried to save £4m by rejecting an intelligence project to use aircraft surveillance to detect illegal immigrant boats.
On 30 June 2016, May announced her candidacy for the leadership of the Conservative Party to replace David Cameron, who resigned following the outcome of the European Union membership referendum in which 52% of voters voted in favour of leaving the EU. May emphasised the need for unity within the party regardless of positions on leaving the EU, saying she could bring "strong leadership" and a "positive vision" for the country's future. Despite having backed a vote to remain in the EU, she insisted that there would be no second referendum, saying: "The campaign was fought... and the public gave their verdict. There must be no attempts to remain inside the EU, no attempts to rejoin it through the back door... Brexit means Brexit". An opinion poll that day found 47% of people choosing May as their preferred candidate to be prime minister.
On 13 July 2016, two days after becoming Leader of the Conservative Party, May was appointed Prime Minister by Queen Elizabeth II, becoming only the second female British prime minister after Margaret Thatcher. Addressing the world's media outside 10 Downing Street, May said that she was "honoured and humbled" to become prime minister. On becoming prime minister, May became the first woman to have held two of the Great Offices of State.
The First May ministry delayed the final approval for the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in July 2016, a project which May had objected to when she was Home Secretary. Her political adviser Nick Timothy wrote an article in 2015 to oppose China's involvement in sensitive sectors. He said that the government was "selling our national security to China" without rational concerns and "the Government seems intent on ignoring the evidence and presumably the advice of the security and intelligence agencies".
In July 2016, when George Kerevan asked her whether she would be prepared to authorise the killing of a hundred thousand innocent persons by a nuclear strike; during the "Trident debate" inside the House of Commons, May said "Yes. And I have to say to the honourable gentleman: the whole point of a deterrent is that our enemies need to know that we would be prepared to use it. Unlike some suggestions that we could have a nuclear deterrent but not actually be willing to use it, which come from the Labour Party frontbench."
May had a high approval rating during her first week as prime minister. The results of an Ipsos MORI survey released in July 2016 indicated that 55% of those surveyed believed that May was a suitable PM while only 23% believed that the Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn would make a good prime minister.
A ComRes poll taken in September 2016 after her election suggested May was seen as substantially more "in touch with ordinary British people" than her predecessor David Cameron and a majority of voters saw her as "the right person to unite the country".
The May Ministry delayed the final approval for the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in July 2016, a project which May had objected to when she was Home Secretary. Her political adviser Nick Timothy wrote an article in 2015 to oppose People's Republic of China's involvement in sensitive sectors. He said that the government was "selling our national security to China" without rational concerns and "the Government seems intent on ignoring the evidence and presumably the advice of the security and intelligence agencies."
May's government published a Green Paper in November 2016 which considered forcing companies to reveal the difference between what their CEOs are paid and what their ordinary workers are paid. On 1 January 2019 new regulations came into force for UK listed companies with over 250 employees to annually disclose the ratio of their CEO's pay to the median, lower quartile, and upper quartile pay of their UK employees.
Before her premiership began, May said that she planned to have workers represented on company boards, saying "If I'm prime minister ... we're going to have not just consumers represented on company boards, but workers as well." May aimed to put workers' and consumers' representatives on boards to make them more accountable. Nils Pratley, a journalist at The Guardian, wrote in July "Fundamental principles of Britain's boardroom governance are being rethought. It is a very welcome development. In the more enlightened quarters of the UK corporate world, they can see that boardroom pay has eroded trust in business." Workers' representatives it appeared, would have made UK companies more like those in Germany and France. May was accused of backtracking in November 2016 when she said that firms would not be forced to adopt the proposal, saying "there are a number of ways in which that can be achieved".
May has not given MPs a vote over the European Union. Nicky Morgan stated "in 2016 MPs aren't asking for a veto but they do want a say and we hope the Prime Minister will remember her earlier words". Anna Soubry and Nick Clegg also called for more parliamentary involvement. In November 2016, the High Court ruled in R (Miller) v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union that parliament must vote on the decision to leave the EU but May appealed to the Supreme Court. Nicola Sturgeon, Scottish First Minister has joined the case as have representatives of Wales and Northern Ireland. Sturgeon feels the Scottish Parliament should also consent to the UK triggering of Article 50. She says she will not seek to prevent England and Wales leaving but wants to preserve Scotland's place in the EU. In the end the Supreme Court required a vote in the UK parliament.
On 21 January 2017, following the inauguration of Donald Trump as US President, the White House announced that May would meet the President on 27 January, making her the first foreign leader to meet Trump since he took office on 20 January. In a joint press conference, May indicated an interest in increased trade between the United States and the United Kingdom. She also affirmed a desire to maintain an American involvement in NATO. May was criticised by members of major parties, including her own, for refusing to condemn Trump's Executive Order 13769, as well as for inviting Trump to a state visit with Queen Elizabeth II.
In January 2017, when it came to light that a Trident test had malfunctioned in June 2016, May refused to confirm whether she knew about the incident when she addressed parliament.
May's Chancellor, Philip Hammond, continued government policies of freezing benefits in his 2017 budget.
In November 2017, May said the actions of Myanmar Army and police against the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar "looks like ethnic cleansing". According to May, "it is something for which the Burmese authorities – and especially the military – must take full responsibility." From the 2017 general election to December 2017, May suffered no defeats in whipped votes in the House of Commons. On 13 December 2017, May lost a vote on the EU Withdrawal Bill by 309 votes to 305, due to 11 Conservatives voting against the government, including Stephen Hammond who was then Vice-Chairman of the Conservative Party.
May accused Russia of "threatening the international order", "seeking to weaponise information" and "deploying its state-run media organisations to plant fake stories". She mentioned Russia's meddling in German federal election in 2017, after German government officials and security experts said there was no Russian interference.
Following the impact of Blue Planet II in 2017, the May administration outlined plans to approve further green policy. A particular focus has been on plastic and its impact on the environment. In March 2018, May announced plans for a plastic deposit scheme modelled on a similar policy in Norway to boost recycling.
On 22 September 2017, May officially made public the details of her Brexit proposal during a speech in Florence, urging the European Union to maintain a transitional period of two years after Brexit during which trade terms remain unaltered. During this period, the UK would also continue to honour its budget commitments of about €10 billion per annum, and accept immigration from Europe. Her speech was criticised by leading Eurosceptic Nigel Farage. The European Union's Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier welcomed May's proposal as "constructive," but said it also "must be translated into negotiating positions to make meaningful progress."
In September 2017, she was listed by Forbes as the second most powerful woman in the world, behind Angela Merkel.
In April 2018, May's hostile environment policy became the focus of British politics in what came to be known as the Windrush scandal, in which members of the Windrush generation of Afro-Caribbean Britons were threatened with deportation by the Home Office and in at least 83 cases, illegally deported from the UK. The policy also affected the lives of many thousands of people who were in the United Kingdom legally by causing them to be sacked from employment, preventing access to health care, illegally demanding money exiling them and preventing their return to the UK, and leaving them destitute. The scandal led to the resignation of May's successor Amber Rudd as Home Secretary, and her replacement by Sajid Javid. Responding to questions in Parliament on the Windrush scandal on 25 April, May maintained that the hostile environment policy would remain government policy.
In May 2018, during a three-day state visit to the UK by Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, May declared that Britain is a "true friend" of Turkey, but she added that "It is important that in defense of democracy, which has been facing extraordinary pressures from the failed coup, instability across the border from Syria and from Kurdish terrorism, Turkey does not lose sight of the values it is seeking to defend."
On 4 December 2018, on a motion passed by MPs by 311 to 293 votes, the May Government was found in contempt of Parliament; the first government to be found in contempt in history. The vote was triggered by the government failing to lay before Parliament any legal advice on the proposed withdrawal agreement on the terms of the UK's departure from the European Union, after a humble address for a return was unanimously agreed to by the House of Commons on 13 November 2018. The government then agreed to publish the full legal advice for Brexit that was given to the Prime Minister by the Attorney General during negotiations with the European Union.
On 12 December 2018, May faced a vote of no confidence in her leadership over opposition to her negotiated Brexit deal from the Conservative Party, after the number of Conservative MPs exceeded the 48 no-confidence letter threshold that the 1922 Committee Chairman, Sir Graham Brady required for one to be held. May won the vote with 200 Conservative MPs voting for her, compared to 117 voting against. As part of her speech to the Parliamentary Conservative Party before the no-confidence vote was opened, it was reported that May conceded that she would step down as prime minister after delivering Brexit and would not lead the Conservative Party into the next General Election in exchange for Conservative MPs voting to have confidence in her leadership so that she would be able to keep the party, Parliament and the UK stable during the final stages of Brexit. May later confirmed this to BBC News Political editor, Laura Kuenssberg after meeting EU leaders, including Jean-Claude Juncker in Brussels.
On 17 December 2018 in the House of Commons, the Leader of the Opposition and Labour Party Leader, Jeremy Corbyn, tabled a motion of no confidence in May's prime ministership, citing May's refusal to set the date for the meaningful vote on her Brexit deal before Christmas, and instead pushing it back to mid-January. The following day the government refused to allow time for the motion to be debated. John Bercow, Speaker of the House of Commons, confirmed that they were under no obligation to do so. Following the defeat of May's Brexit deal on 15 January 2019, Corbyn tabled a motion of no confidence in the Government, to be voted on by parliament the following evening. The motion was defeated by 325 votes to 306; a majority of 19.
The Conservative Party had a 21-point lead over Labour in a poll released the day before May announced a snap election but this lead narrowed substantially. In mid-June, following the election, a YouGov poll showed that May's popularity had dropped to a rating of −34. In April 2018, May had a higher approval rating than Corbyn for the first time since the general election, leading him by −13 to −23.
On 30 August 2018, she was awarded honorary citizenship of Abuja in Nigeria.
On 15 January 2019, May's government was defeated in the House of Commons by a margin of 230 votes (202 in favour and 432 opposed) in a vote on her deal to leave the European Union. It was the largest majority against a United Kingdom government in history.
On 27 March 2019 at a meeting of the 1922 Committee, May confirmed that she will "not lead the UK in the next stage of Brexit negotiations", meaning she was expected to resign after the third meaningful vote, if it had passed successfully. However, no date was stated, and her reported wording was ambiguous and thus carried no binding force. On 29 March, the third meaningful vote was defeated, and while May did not state anything in regards to standing down, Corbyn stated that if May could not find an alternative to her deal "she must go, not at an indeterminate date in the future but now."
On 5 February 2019, May gave a speech to business leaders in Belfast to address Brexit stating the United Kingdom's relationship with Ireland was closer than the 26 other members of the EU. She affirmed the government's "absolute" commitment to the Good Friday Agreement and that Britain would seek to have no hard border in Northern Ireland.
After leaving 10 Downing Street, May took her place on the backbenches, remaining an MP to "devote her full time" to her constituency of Maidenhead, Berkshire. In the 2019 general election she was re-elected as the constituency's MP.
On 30 September 2019, May divulged, at the Henley Literary Festival in Oxfordshire, that she was "thinking about writing a book", saying "It has been suggested to me that people involved in significant events should write about them so historians can look back and see what those who were at the centre of events were thinking, why they took decisions and so forth". When interviewed, she admitted that she had not read her predecessor David Cameron's memoir For the Record. She also said she had "no regrets" over her political career.
May and her husband reside in the Thames village of Sonning which is within her constituency. Following her husband's knighthood in the 2019 Dissolution Honours, she has been entitled to be styled as Lady May. May is a member of the Church of England and regularly worships at church (usually at St Andrew's, Sonning) on Sunday. The daughter of an Anglican priest, the Reverend Hubert Brasier, May has said that her Christian faith "is part of me. It is part of who I am and therefore how I approach things".
It was reported in 2020 that former MI6 operative Christopher Steele alleged that May, while Boris Johnson was foreign secretary, of ignoring claims that Russia may have secretly funded Brexit. Steele accuses May's government of selling British interests short by not taking matters further: “In this case, political considerations seemed to outweigh national security interests. If so, in my view, HMG made a serious mistake in balancing matters of strategic importance to our country.”
In July 2020 the Intelligence and Security Committee report on Russia was released. It stated that the British government and intelligence agencies failed to conduct any assessment of Russian attempts to interfere with the 2016 Brexit referendum. It stated the government “had not seen or sought evidence of successful interference in UK democratic processes”. Steward Hosie, SNP member said “The report reveals that no one in government knew if Russia interfered in or sought to influence the referendum because they did not want to know,”. However, the report stated no firm conclusion could be ascertained on whether the Kremlin had or had not successfully interfered in the referendum.
In May 2020, May criticised the Chief Adviser to the Prime Minister Dominic Cummings when he broke lockdown rules during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Currently, Theresa May is 66 years, 4 months and 4 days old. Theresa May will celebrate 67th birthday on a Sunday 1st of October 2023.
Find out about Theresa May birthday activities in timeline view here.