UK’s Prime Minister Theresa May opposed Brexit, names Boris Johnson foreign minister

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By GIS/Defense & Foreign Affairs

LONDON — Incoming UK Prime Minister Theresa May on the evening of July 13, 2016, was asked by the Sovereign, Queen Elizabeth II, to form a new Government, following the resignation of Prime Minister David Cameron. Immediately after her audience with the Queen she announced the key members of her new Cabinet, and said that she would center her Government around “social justice”.

New Prime Minister Theresa May, right, and new Foreign Minister Boris Johnson.
New Prime Minister Theresa May, right, and new Foreign Minister Boris Johnson.

Significantly, she did not appear to have a place in her Cabinet for Michael Gove, the former Justice Secretary, who had fought for Britain’s exit from the European Union (EU), but who, in the subsequent leadership battle, had undercut his “Brexit” co-leader, Boris Johnson, who was now named as Foreign Secretary.

Speaking outside 10 Downing Street — the Prime Ministerial residence and office — she reminded people that the Conservative party was named the Conservative and Unionist party which was to unite “the precious bond’’ of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales as well as unifying “all of our citizens, every one of us whoever we are and wherever we are from”.

She pointedly left in place the previous Government’s Defence Secretary, Michael Fallon.

The new Cabinet thus far:

  • Chancellor of the Exchequer: Philip Hammond
  • Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs: Boris Johnson
  • Secretary of State for the Home Department: Amber Rudd
  • Secretary of State for Defence: Michael Fallon
  • Secretary of State for Exiting the EU: David Davis
  • Secretary of State for International Trade: Liam Fox

The Right Honourable (Rt. Hon.) Theresa May became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom on July 13, 2016. She is a Member of the United Kingdom Parliament in the House of Commons, representing the constituency of Maidenhead, in the south-east county of Berkshire, England. She became the presumptive successor to Prime Minister David Cameron on July 11, 2016, after all of the other candidates for the Party leadership dropped out of the race, and assumed the post on July 13, 2016. She is a member of the Conservative Party, and identified herself as a One-Nation Conservative.

Mrs May was born on Oct. 1, 1956, in Eastbourne, a non-metropolitan seaside town in the south-eastern county, Sussex, in England. She was born to Zaidee Mary and Hubert Brasier, an Anglican clergyman. Her primary education was at Heythrop Primary School in Oxfordshire and, for a brief period, St. Juliana’s Convent School for Girls, a Roman Catholic private school in Begbroke. She won a spot at the Holton Park Girls’ Grammar School in Wheatley, Oxfordshire, when she was 13 years old. The school was renamed Wheatley Park Comprehensive School while she was in attendance.

She attended the University of Oxford, where she studied Geography at St Hugh’s College. She began work at the Bank of England after her 1977 graduation.

After stuffing envelopes at her local Conservative Association, she became a financial consultant and senior advisor in international affairs from 1985 to 1997 at the Association for Payment Clearing Services. She became a councilor in 1986 for the London Borough of Merton, where she worked as Chairman of Education from 1988 to 1990 and Deputy Group Leader and Housing Spokesman from 1992 to 1994. She unsuccessfully ran in 1992 for the House of Commons seat for North West Durham, and was again unsuccessful in winning a seat in the 1994 by-election.

She entered Parliament on May 1, 1997, after she won the parliamentary seat of Maidenhead.

Mrs May became a member of the shadow cabinet after taking office, and became Shadow Spokesman for Schools, Disabled People, and Women in 1998, serving in this capacity until June 1999. She was appointed in 1999 as Shadow Secretary of State for Education and Employment. She became Shadow Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government, and the Regions after the 2001 election under opposition leader Iain Duncan Smith.

She became the first female Chairman of the Conservative Party in July 2002 after referring to her party as “the Nasty Party” in a speech at the convention. She was sworn in as a member of the Her Majesty’s Most Honourable Privy Council 2002, giving her the pre-nominal designation as “Right Honourable”.

Conservative leader Michael Howard appointed her in November 2003 as Shadow Secretary of State for Environment and Transport. She served from 2004 to 2005 as the Shadow Secretary of State for the Culture, Media, and Sports. She became Shadow Leader of the House of Commons in 2005 under David Cameron’s leadership.

Mrs May was appointed in January 2009 as Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.

Prime Minister David Cameron appointed her on May 12, 2010, as Home Secretary and Minister for Women and Equality. She served in the latter position until September 2012. While working as Home Secretary, she abolished the National Identity Card program and announced in June 2010 a temporary cap on United Kingdom visas for non-European Union migrants. She announced cuts to the Home Office budget in 2010, which resulted in limiting police employment numbers.

She announced her candidacy for Prime Minister in June 2016, after the June 23, 2016, referendum as to whether the UK should leave the European Union.

Although she supported Prime Minister Cameron’s “remain” campaign, leading to the Prime Minister’s resignation with the failure of the “remain” camp, she quickly became the front runner for the Premiership.

The first ballot on July 5, 2016, placed her in the top spot with 50 percent of the vote. Her Conservative Party competition, Andrea Leadsom, who had supported the “exit” campaign, dropped out of the race on July 11, 2016, due to earlier controversial remarks. She had long been known as a “Eurosceptic”, but had supported Mr Cameron’s campaign to keep the UK in the EU.

Theresa May is married to banker Philip May, and they have no children. They both enjoy cricket, and live in Sonning, Berkshire. The media has followed her appreciation of eccentric high heels, and she gained notoriety for wearing a pair of leopard print kitten heels during her “Nasty Party” speech. Her interests include walking and cooking. She was diagnosed in November 2012 with Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1. She is a member of the Church of England.