It looked as if it would be a Theresa May vs Andrea Leadsom Tory leadership race, until the latter dropped out on the grounds that she didn’t have enough support from her party ‘to lead a strong and stable government should [she] win the leadership election’ and the backlash from her motherhood quotes.
With May following David Cameron as Prime Minister, as announced outside Downing Street pre-whistlegate, we see what she’s all about – and how her CV compares to Margaret Thatcher…
Age of becoming PM
How long she spent as an MP before becoming PM
May: Maidenhead – 1997 to now
Thatcher: Finchley – 1959 to 1992
May: Home secretary
Thatcher: Junior pensions minister
May: Geography - St. Hugh’s College, Oxford
Thatcher: Chemistry – Somerville College, Oxford
May: Sassy mid-heels
Thatcher: Pearl necklace, pearl earrings, little bag
So, what does Theresa May think about the big isses? Here’s the PM in her own quotes…
On women’s rights
‘One way in which I’m particularly keen that our economy becomes fairer is in the opportunities available to women.’
‘If we fully used the skills and qualifications of women who are currently out of work, it could deliver economic benefits of £15bn-21bn per year.’
‘The U.K. needs a system for family migration underpinned by three simple principles. One: that those who come here should do so on the basis of a genuine relationship. Two: that migrants should be able to pay their way. And three: that they are able to integrate into British society.’
‘Within the E.U., in a wider context, people are increasingly recognising the need to prevent the abuse of free movement.’
On going forward with Brexit (which she voted against)
‘Brexit means Brexit, and we're going to make a success of it.’
On the Human Rights Act
‘I'd personally like to see the Human Rights Act go because I think we have had some problems with it.’
‘We all know the stories about the Human Rights Act... about the illegal immigrant who cannot be deported because, and I am not making this up, he had a pet cat.’ – about Abu Qatada
She plans to replace it with a new nuclear weapons system.
On same-sex marriages
She voted against gay adoption and the repeal of Section 28 (that stated a local authority 'shall not intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality' or 'promote the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship'), but for same-sex marriage.
‘If two people care for each other, if they love each other, then they should be able to get married.’
On worker’s rights
‘Under my leadership, the Conservative party will put itself – completely, absolutely, unequivocally – at the service of working people.’
She voted against introducing fees then for raising the cap to £9,000.
On general election
‘There should be no general election until 2020.’
On foreign policy
She voted for Libya, Iraq and Syria.
She voted against measures to prevent climate change.
And some more…
‘I like clothes and I like shoes. One of the challenges for women in the workplace is to be ourselves and I say you can be clever and like clothes. You can have a career and like clothes.’
On Margaret Thatcher comparisons
‘I think there can only ever be one Margaret Thatcher. I’m not someone who naturally looks to role models. I’ve always, whatever job it is I’m doing at the time, given it my best shot. I put my all into it, and try to do the best job I can.’
‘As a woman I know you can be very serious about something and very soberly dressed add a little bit of interest with footwear. I always tell women ‘you have to be yourself, don’t assume you have to fit into a stereotype’ and if your personality is shown through your clothes or shoes, so be it.’
But let's see what happens when she's Prime Minister...