Childhood & Early Life
Theresa Mary May was born on 1 October 1956, in Eastbourne, England, UK, to Zaidee Mary and Hubert Brasier. Her father was a ‘Church of England’ clergyman, who held the role of the vicar of Wheatley, and her grandfather was a regimental sergeant major.
As a young girl, she attended several schools, including ‘Heythrop Primary School,’ ‘St. Juliana's Convent School for Girls,’ and the ‘Wheatley Park Comprehensive School.’
She then proceeded to the ‘University of Oxford’ where she studied geography at ‘St Hugh's College,’ graduating with a BA degree in 1977.
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Following her graduation, she started working for the ‘Bank of England,’ a job she held until 1983. She then worked as a financial consultant and senior advisor in international affairs at the ‘Association for Payment Clearing Services’ from 1985 to 1997.
Theresa May entered politics in 1986 when she became a councillor for the London Borough of Merton where she served as the Chairman of Education (1988–90) and Deputy Group Leader and Housing Spokesman (1992–94).
She set her political aspirations high and competed for a seat in North West Durham in the 1992 general election. This attempt was unsuccessful, as was her attempt to win the1994 Barking by-election.
Being a resilient woman, she competed again in the 1997 general elections in which she was successfully elected as the Conservative MP for Maidenhead. In 1998, she became a member of Conservative politician William Hague's front-bench Opposition team and served as shadow spokesman for schools, disabled people, and women, a position she held until June 1999.
She was appointed Shadow Education and Employment Secretary in the ‘Shadow Cabinet’ in 1999. Following the 2001 election, she was moved to the Transport portfolio by the new Conservative leader, Iain Duncan Smith.
A much-respected politician by the beginning of the new millennium, May was appointed the first female chairman of the ‘Conservative Party’ in July 2002. The following year, she was made the Shadow Secretary of State for Transport and the Environment after Michael Howard's election as Conservative Party and Opposition Leader in November 2003.
In 2004, she was appointed the Shadow Secretary of State for the Family. The year 2005 saw her assume the role of Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. In December 2005, David Cameron made her Shadow Leader of the House of Commons.
Her career flourished over the ensuing years and she was appointed Home Secretary and Minister for Women and Equality by Prime Minister David Cameron in 2010. As Home Secretary, Theresa May also became a member of the ‘National Security Council.’
As home secretary, she also overturned several of the previous Labour government's measures on data collection and surveillance in England and Wales. Under her tenure, the ‘Identity Documents Act 2010’ was passed, which in turn brought about the abolition of the Labour government's ‘National Identity Card’ and database scheme.
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As a politician with strong views on immigration, May, in 2010, promised to bring the level of net migration down to less than 100,000. She also rejected the European Union's proposal of compulsory refugee quotas.
During her tenure as home secretary, she simultaneously held the office of Minister for Women and Equality from 2010 to 2012.
In June 2016, Prime Minister David Cameron announced his resignation after the outcome of the ‘European Union’ membership referendum in which the UK voted to leave the ‘European Union.’ In the wake of Cameron’s resignation, Theresa May announced her candidacy for the leadership of the ‘Conservative Party.’
Theresa May received support from a number of cabinet ministers, such as Amber Rudd, Chris Grayling, Justine Greening, Jeremy Hunt, Michael Fallon, and Patrick McLoughlin. She was declared leader of the ‘Conservative Party’ on 11 July 2016, following a positive outcome in the voting and the withdrawal of another potential candidate, Andrea Leadsom.
Theresa May assumed office as prime minister of the United Kingdom on 13 July 2016, becoming the nation’s second female PM after Margaret Thatcher.
In July 2016, May announced in a ‘Trident debate’ at the ‘House of Commons’ that the UK will not hesitate to use Nuclear weapons for its national security. She also supported the Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen.
2017 saw May call for an early general election in the best interest of UK’s security. It was the first snap election held under the ‘Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011’ which she won by two-thirds majority. Subsequently, she unveiled the Conservative manifesto in Halifax where she promised to make great changes to the budget, infrastructure, social care, and New Sovereign wealth funds.
Resuming office in her second term, May ordered a full public inquiry of the 1970s and 1980s ‘contaminated blood scandal’ where thousands were affected with hepatitis C and HIV/AIDS. With more than a thousand crore participants, the ‘Infected Blood Inquiry’ became the biggest public inquiry held in the UK.
By early 2018, May had to face several defeats regarding her stand on Brexit from the ‘European Union.’ On 4 December 2018, May’s government was charged with contempt of Parliament for failing to submit any legal advice on the UK's departure from the ‘European Union.’ Subsequently, the government agreed to publish full legal advice for Brexit.
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Criticisms poured in from all over the place with regards to May’s handling of the UK exit from the ‘European Union’ and on 12 December 2018, she faced a ‘vote of no confidence’ in her leadership. After her ‘European Union’ withdrawal agreement bill was received poorly by her party, May announced her resignation as the leader of the ‘Conservative Party’ on 24 May 2019. She also said that she would remain as the prime minister until a new prime minister is appointed. On 24 July 2019, May stepped down as the PM after she was replaced by her former Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson.