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Theresa May
Theresa May (2016).jpg
May in 2016
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
In office
13 July 2016 – 24 July 2019
Monarch Elizabeth II
First Secretary Damian Green (2017)
Preceded by David Cameron
Succeeded by Boris Johnson
Leader of the Conservative Party
In office
11 July 2016 – 7 June 2019
Acting: 7 June 2019 – 23 July 2019
Preceded by David Cameron
Succeeded by Boris Johnson
Home Secretary
In office
12 May 2010 – 13 July 2016
Prime Minister David Cameron
Preceded by Alan Johnson
Succeeded by Amber Rudd
Member of Parliament
for Maidenhead
Assumed office
1 May 1997
Preceded by Constituency created
Majority 26,457 (45.5%)
Home Secretary
In office
12 May 2010 – 13 July 2016
Prime Minister David Cameron
Preceded by Alan Johnson
Succeeded by Amber Rudd
Minister for Women and Equalities
In office
12 May 2010 – 4 September 2012
Prime Minister David Cameron
Preceded by Harriet Harman
Succeeded by Maria Miller
Chairwoman of the Conservative Party
In office
23 July 2002 – 6 November 2003
Leader Iain Duncan Smith
Preceded by David Davis
Succeeded by Liam Fox
The Lord Saatchi
Personal details
Theresa Mary Brasier

(1956-10-01) 1 October 1956 (age 67)
Eastbourne, Sussex, England
Political party Conservative
(m. 1980)
  • Hubert Brasier
  • Zaidee Mary Barnes
Residence(s) Sonning, Berkshire
Alma mater St Hugh's College, Oxford
Vladimir Putin and Theresa May (2016-09-04) 02
Theresa May meeting President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, September 2016

Theresa Mary, Lady May (née Brasier; born 1 October 1956) is a British politician and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 2016 to 2019.

She was born in Eastbourne, Sussex, and grew up in Oxfordshire. 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 government. In 2018, she was elected as Commonwealth Chair-in-Office.

On 12 December 2018, 48 Conservative MPs had submitted letters of no confidence to the Chairman of the 1922 Committee Sir Graham Brady, triggering a vote of no confidence. Despite this, May won the confidence vote after 200 MPs vowed support to her leadership. On 15 January 2019 after her Brexit proposal failed in the House of Commons by a 432 to 202 vote, Opposition Leader Jeremy Corbyn filled a motion of no confidence in her ministry, which failed in a 325 to 306 vote.

In March 2019, May said she would resign as Prime Minister if Parliament passed her Brexit deal, to make way for a new leader in the second phase of Brexit.

On 24 May 2019, she announced that her resignation as party leader would take effect on 7 June and she would leave her position as Prime Minister when her replacement is selected. She was replaced by Boris Johnson.

Early life

May was born on 1 October 1956 at Maternity Home in 9 Upperton Road 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. May was educated at Oxfordshire primary and grammar schools in the State sector, and graduated the University of Oxford in 1977.

Early career

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. May's parents died during this period, her father in a car accident in 1981 and her mother of multiple sclerosis a year later. 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 work

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, 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)

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." 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. 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.

Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (2016-19)

2016 Conservative Party leadership election

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). 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.

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.

Early days

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

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.

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, 2017

Theresa May visits Donald Trump (34617656122)
May with President Donald Trump in Washington, D.C., January 2017

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

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.

Vote of no confidence

On 12 December 2018, the chairman of the 1922 committee received enough formal request letters to warrant what some Westminster system countries call a Leadership spill, which was promptly scheduled for the following evening. Many say this is because of the Brexit deal and the way May is handling the deal. Before the vote, May said later that day that she would not lead her party in the next general election. May would go on to win the confidence vote.

Brexit defeat

Theresa May declares resignation (cropped)
May announcing her resignation outside 10 Downing Street, May 2019

On 15 January 2019 Theresa May's government was defeated in the house of commons by a majority of 203 in a vote on her deal to leave the European Union. This is the largest majority against a United Kingdom government ever.


On 24 May 2019, May announced that she would resign as Conservative Party leader effective on 7 June and that she will remain as Prime Minister until her replacement is picked.

In the 2019 General Election she was re-elected in her Maidenhead constituency.

Personal life

She married Philip John May on 6 September 1980. She has no children.

In 2013, she was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.

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



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

See also

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