Theresa May's premiership: The highs and lows

Friday, May 24, 2019

Theresa May has announced that she will step down as Prime Minister on June 7. 

Mrs May declared her resignation date in an emotional speech this morning, saying that she had "enormous and enduring gratitude" to hold the role of Prime Minister and "serve the country I love".

She has been Prime Minister for almost three years after taking over the role from David Cameron in July 2016.

Here are some of the more notable moments from Mrs May’s premiership.


Dancing queen

Theresa May dancing onto the stage at the 2018 Conservative Party conference

The Prime Minister looked more jovial at the Conservative Party conference in October last year, when she arrived on stage dancing to ABBA’s Dancing Queen.

She was recreating the dance moves she had made during a trade trip to South Africa in August 2018.

Footage of her dancing with pupils from the ID Mkize secondary school in Cape Town achieved viral status.


The P45 speech


Theresa May's speech at the 2017 Conservative Party conference was fraught with problems.

She suffered a coughing fit and was handed a lozenge by the chancellor, and the letters on the set behind her fell off as she spoke to the crowd.

The Prime Minister was also handed a P45 by the comedian Simon Brodkin - who plays a character called Lee Nelson - who told her that it was from Boris Johnson, the then-foreign secretary.

She later shared a photo of her notes surrounded by cough medicine and lozenges in a nod to her croaky voice.


Her Brexit plan

Mrs May’s time as Prime Minister has been consumed by the Brexit negotiations, with Mrs May’s deal being rejected three times by MPs.

She faced some of the biggest defeats any Prime Minister has ever faced in the House of Commons, and in January, her Brexit deal was rejected by MPs by 230 votes.

It beat the previous government record of 166 votes, which was set in 1924 by the minority Labour government led by Ramsay MacDonald, over the Prime Minister’s decision to drop criminal proceedings against the editor of the communist newspaper Workers Weekly.

On Tuesday, the Prime Minister's latest changes to her Withdrawal Agreement Bill were also not well received, as Commons leader Andrea Leadsom resigned over the inclusion of "a requirement to vote on whether to hold a second referendum" in Mrs May's deal.


Girl power

Mrs May was the UK’s second female Prime Minister, following Margaret Thatcher who took up the role in 1979.

On International Women's Day this year, Mrs May was criticised for only taking one question from a woman during a press conference. 

She simply responded: “They were all answered by a woman Prime Minister.”

Announcing her resignation date, Mrs May said she was "the second female Prime Minister but certainly not the last". 

“I will shortly leave the job that it has been the honour of my life to hold - the second female prime minister but certainly not the last," she said. 

“I do so with no ill-will, but with enormous and enduring gratitude to have had the opportunity to serve the country I love.”


Fields of wheat

When asked what the naughtiest thing she ever did was, Mrs May said the now-famous line, "run through fields of wheat".

In July 2017 the Prime Minister told ITV that when she was younger, she used to run through the fields with her friends.

She said: "Well, nobody is ever perfectly behaved, are they? I mean, you know, there are times when... I have to confess, when me and my friend, sort of, used to run through the fields of wheat."

“The farmers weren’t too pleased about that,” she joked.


Read more

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