LONDON — Home secretary Theresa May is all set to take charge as Britain’s second ever woman Prime Minister Wednesday and begin the work of taking the country out of the EU.
She succeeds David Cameron, who resigned in the wake of Brexit referendum that ended his six-year-long stint as the prime minister of Britain.
May, 59, will become the UK’s second female Prime Minister after Margaret Thatcher, also known as Iron Lady, with whom May is often compared. May is also expected to boost the number of women in her frontline Cabinet team.
Indian-origin junior minister, Priti Patel, is likely to bag a promotion after she had come out strongly in favour of May as the best candidate for the top job.
May emerged as the prime minister designate on Monday after her only rival, Andrea Leadsom, withdrew from the Conservative party leadership race triggered by the UK’s referendum last month in favor of Brexit.
May’s spokesperson said work is already under way to set up a new department dedicated to negotiating Britain’s exit from the 28-member European Union.
“Civil servants have already been charged with finding a building to house the Brexit department an indication of May’s commitment to get on with delivering the verdict of the EU referendum. Brexit means Brexit and we’re going to make a success of it,” the spokesperson said.
Cameron, 49, who had campaigned for Britain to remain a part of the economic bloc, had announced he will be stepping down for a new prime minister to handle the Brexit negotiations.
“I came into Downing Street to confront our problems as a country and lead people through difficult decisions so that together we could reach better times. As I leave today, I hope that people will see a stronger country, a thriving economy, and more chances to get on in life,” he told ‘The Daily Telegraph’ in one of his farewell interviews.
Today, he will start the day with his weekly Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons for the 182nd and final time as prime minister.
He will be then driven up to Buckingham Palace to tender his resignation to Queen Elizabeth II after which May will have her own audience at the palace when she will accept the monarch’s offer to form a new government.
She will return to No 10 Downing Street as the new prime minister and is set to move in with her husband, Philip May, later in the evening.
The Camerons, meanwhile, are all packed and ready to move into a temporary rental accommodation in central London as their own home in Notting Hill area of the city is still occupied by tenants.
They had not expected to have to move out quite so quickly and had expected to have time until September, which was the initial timeline set for the Tory leadership contest.
Tough-talking May is expected to bring a very different flavor to Downing Street, with her penchant for flamboyant shoes and no-nonsense attitude. PNA/ PTI/ northboundasia.com