83 Facts About Theresa May


Theresa Mary, Lady May is a British politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Conservative Party from 2016 to 2019.


Theresa May previously served in David Cameron's cabinet as Home Secretary from 2010 to 2016, and has been Member of Parliament for Maidenhead in Berkshire since 1997.


From 1999 to 2010, Theresa May held several roles in shadow cabinets.


Theresa May was Chairman of the Conservative Party from 2002 to 2003.


Theresa May stood in the Conservative Party leadership election to succeed Cameron, who resigned on the outcome of the 2016 referendum.


Theresa May began the process of withdrawing the UK from the European Union, triggering Article 50 in March 2017.


Theresa May survived two votes of no confidence in December 2018 and January 2019, but after versions of her draft withdrawal agreement were rejected by Parliament three times, she announced her resignation in Theresa May 2019.


Theresa May was born on 1 October 1956 in Eastbourne, Sussex.


Theresa May's father died in 1981, from injuries sustained in a car accident, and her mother of multiple sclerosis the following year.


Theresa May initially attended Heythrop Primary School, a state school in Heythrop, followed by St Juliana's Convent School for Girls, a Roman Catholic independent school in Begbroke, which closed in 1984.


Theresa May attended the University of Oxford, read geography at St Hugh's College, and graduated with a second class BA degree in 1977.


Between 1977 and 1983, Theresa May worked at the Bank of England, and from 1985 to 1997, at the Association for Payment Clearing Services, as a financial consultant.


Theresa May served as Head of the European Affairs Unit from 1989 to 1996 and Senior Adviser on International Affairs from 1996 to 1997 in the organisation.


Theresa May served as a councillor for Durnsford ward on the Borough Council of the London Borough of Merton from 1986 to 1994, where she was Chairman of Education and Deputy Group Leader and Housing Spokesman.


Theresa May then stood at the 1994 Barking by-election, which was prompted by the death of Labour MP Jo Richardson.


Around 18 months ahead of the 1997 general election, Theresa May was selected as the Conservative candidate for Maidenhead, a new seat which was created from parts of the safe seats of Windsor and Maidenhead and Wokingham.


Theresa May became the first of the 1997 MPs to enter the Shadow Cabinet when in 1999 she was appointed Shadow Education and Employment Secretary.


Theresa May was appointed the first female Chairman of the Conservative Party in July 2002.


In 2003, after Michael Howard's election as Conservative Party and Opposition Leader in November that year, Theresa May was appointed Shadow Secretary of State for Transport and the Environment.


In January 2009, Theresa May was made Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.


Theresa May was the longest-serving Home Secretary for over 60 years, since James Chuter Ede who served over six years and two months from August 1945 to October 1951.


In June 2010, Theresa May faced her first major national security incident as Home Secretary with the Cumbria shootings.


Also in June 2010, Theresa May banned the Indian Muslim preacher Zakir Naik from entering the United Kingdom.


In late June 2010, Theresa May announced plans for a temporary cap on UK visas for non-EU migrants.


The Liberal Democrats had blocked the first attempt, but after the Conservative Party obtained a majority in the 2015 general election Theresa May announced a new Draft Investigatory Powers Bill similar to the Draft Communications Data Bill, although with more limited powers and additional oversight.


In July 2010, Theresa May presented the House of Commons with proposals for a fundamental review of the previous Labour government's security and counter-terrorism legislation, including "stop and search" powers, and her intention to review the 28-day limit on detaining terrorist suspects without charge.


In July 2010, Theresa May announced a package of reforms to policing in England and Wales in the House of Commons.


In common with the Conservative Party 2010 general election manifesto's flagship proposal for a "Big Society" based on voluntary action, Theresa May proposed increasing the role of civilian "reservists" for crime control.


In 2012, despite inquiries by both Scotland Yard and the Independent Police Complaints Commission ruling that there was no new evidence to warrant further investigation, after discussions with Doreen Lawrence, Theresa May commissioned Mark Ellison to review Scotland Yard's investigations into alleged police corruption.


In 2014, Theresa May delivered a speech to the Police Federation, in which she criticised aspects of the culture of the police force.


On 9 December 2010, in the wake of violent student demonstrations in central London against increases to higher-education tuition fees, Theresa May praised the actions of the police in controlling the demonstrations but was described by The Daily Telegraph as "under growing political pressure" due to her handling of the protests.


In July 2010, Theresa May proposed to review the previous Labour Government's anti-social behaviour legislation signalling the abolition of the "Anti-Social Behaviour Order".


Theresa May identified the policy's high level of failure with almost half of ASBOs breached between 2000 and 2008, leading to "fast-track" criminal convictions.


In July 2013, Theresa May decided to ban the stimulant khat, against the advice of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs.


In 2010, Theresa May promised to bring the level of net migration down to less than 100,000.


In June 2012, Theresa May announced that new restrictions would be introduced to reduce the number of non-European Economic Area family migrants.


In June 2012, Theresa May was found in contempt of court by Judge Barry Cotter, and stood accused of "totally unacceptable and regrettable behaviour", being said to have shown complete disregard for a legal agreement to free an Algerian from a UK Immigration Detention Centre.


Theresa May responded to a Supreme Court decision in November 2013 to overturn her predecessor Jacqui Smith's revocation of Iraqi-born terror suspect Al Jedda's British citizenship by ordering it to be revoked for a second time, making him the first person to be stripped twice of British citizenship.


Theresa May held the office of Minister for Women and Equalities in parallel to her office of Home Secretary from 2010 to September 2012, when this role was taken over by Maria Miller.


Theresa May later stated, during an appearance on the BBC's Question Time in 2010, that she had "changed her mind" on gay adoption.


On 2 July 2010, Theresa May stated she would be supporting the previous Labour Government's Anti-Discrimination Laws enshrined in the Equality Act 2010 despite having previously opposed it.


On 13 July 2016, two days after becoming Leader of the Conservative Party, Theresa May was appointed Prime Minister by Queen Elizabeth II, becoming only the second female British prime minister after Margaret Thatcher.


The First Theresa May ministry delayed the final approval for the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in July 2016, a project which Theresa May had objected to when she was Home Secretary.


Shortly before travelling to Berlin, Theresa May had announced that in the wake of the referendum, Britain would relinquish the presidency of the Council of the European Union, which passes between member states every six months on a rotation basis, and that the UK had been scheduled to hold in the second half of 2017.


On 21 January 2017, following the inauguration of Donald Trump as US President, the White House announced that Theresa May would meet the President on 27 January, making her the first foreign leader to meet Trump since he took office on 20 January.


In January 2017, when it came to light that a Trident test had malfunctioned in June 2016, Theresa May refused to confirm whether she knew about the incident when she addressed parliament.


Less than two weeks after the 2017 State Opening of Parliament, Theresa May ordered a full public inquiry into the contaminated blood scandal.


In November 2017, Theresa May said the actions of Myanmar Army and police against the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar "looks like ethnic cleansing".


On 13 December 2017, Theresa May lost a vote on the EU Withdrawal Bill by 309 votes to 305, due to 11 Conservatives voting against the government, including Stephen Hammond who was then vice-chairman of the Conservative Party.


Theresa May mentioned Russia's meddling in German federal election in 2017, after German government officials and security experts said there was no Russian interference.


In 2017, Islamic State terrorist Naa'imur Zakariyah Rahman was foiled in a plot to assassinate Theresa May at Downing Street.


On 4 December 2018, on a motion passed by MPs by 311 to 293 votes, the Theresa May Government was found in contempt of Parliament; the first government to be found in contempt in history.


On 12 December 2018, Theresa May faced a vote of confidence in her leadership of the Conservative Party over opposition to her negotiated Brexit deal, after the number of Conservative MPs exceeded the 48 no-confidence letter threshold that the 1922 Committee Chairman, Sir Graham Brady required for the vote of confidence to be held.


On 17 December 2018 in the House of Commons, the Leader of the Opposition and Labour Party Leader, Jeremy Corbyn, tabled a motion of no confidence in Theresa May's premiership, citing Theresa May's refusal to set the date for the meaningful vote on her Brexit deal before Christmas, and instead pushing it back to mid-January.


On 15 January 2019, Theresa May's government was defeated in the House of Commons by a margin of 230 votes in a vote on her deal to leave the European Union.


On 27 March 2019 at a meeting of the 1922 Committee, Theresa May confirmed that she will "not lead the UK in the next stage of Brexit negotiations", meaning she was expected to resign after the third meaningful vote, if it had passed successfully.


On 24 July 2019, Theresa May ended her consecutive service at the frontbench since 1998 when she had been appointed Shadow Spokesman for Schools, Disabled People and Women.


At the beginning of 2017, nearly six months after becoming prime minister, a ComRes found Theresa May was the most popular UK politician with a net rating of +9 which was described as the longest honeymoon period enjoyed by any sitting Conservative prime minister since the end of the Second World War.


Theresa May is wanted by the US for "conspiracy to commit computer intrusion" relating to the Wikileaks release of classified material in 2010, including footage of US soldiers killing civilians in Iraq.


In 2003, Theresa May voted to approve the invasion of Iraq and in 2013 voted in favour of British military intervention in the Syrian civil war.


The Theresa May Ministry delayed the final approval for the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in July 2016, a project which Theresa May had objected to when she was Home Secretary.


Theresa May's government published a Green Paper in November 2016 which considered forcing companies to reveal the difference between what their CEOs are paid and what their ordinary workers are paid.


Theresa May was accused of backtracking in November 2016 when she said that firms would not be forced to adopt the proposal, saying "there are a number of ways in which that can be achieved".


In March 2018, Theresa May announced plans for a plastic deposit scheme modelled on a similar policy in Norway to boost recycling.


Theresa May publicly stated her support for the UK remaining in the EU during the 2016 referendum campaign, but did not campaign extensively in the referendum and criticised aspects of the EU in a speech.


On 22 September 2017, Theresa May officially made public the details of her Brexit proposal during a speech in Florence, urging the European Union to maintain a transitional period of two years after Brexit during which trade terms remain unaltered.


In November 2016, the High Court ruled in R v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union that parliament must vote on the decision to leave the EU but Theresa May appealed to the Supreme Court.


On 5 February 2019, Theresa May gave a speech to business leaders in Belfast to address Brexit stating the United Kingdom's relationship with Ireland was closer than the 26 other members of the EU.


In 2005, Theresa May co-founded the mentoring and pressure group Women2Win.


In 1998, Theresa May voted against lowering the age of consent for homosexual acts.


Theresa May was a supporter of Section 28, calling a failed repeal in 2000 to be "a victory for commonsense".


Theresa May was absent for the vote when it was successfully repealed in 2003.


Theresa May voted against the Adoption and Children Act 2002 that allowed same-sex couples to adopt.


In 2017, Theresa May apologized for her past votes while taking credit for helping advance LGBT rights within her party.


On 30 September 2019, Theresa May divulged, at the Henley Literary Festival in Oxfordshire, that she was "thinking about writing a book", saying "It has been suggested to me that people involved in significant events should write about them so historians can look back and see what those who were at the centre of events were thinking, why they took decisions and so forth".


Theresa May has been mentioned as a possible candidate to replace NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg following his expected retirement in 2023.


On 13 July 2021, Theresa May was one of 24 Conservative MPs who voted against their party, defying the whip for the first time in 24 years, over the government's proposal to cut its foreign aid budget.


On 16 March 2022, Russia banned Theresa May from visiting the country over the war in Ukraine.


Theresa May has been married to Sir Philip Theresa May, an investment relationship manager currently employed by Capital International, since 6 September 1980.


Theresa May is known for a love of fashion, and in particular of distinctive shoes; she wore leopard-print shoes at her 'Nasty Party' speech in 2002, as well as her final Cabinet meeting as Home Secretary in 2016.


Theresa May was diagnosed with diabetes mellitus of type 1 in November 2012.


Theresa May was nominated as one of the Society's Inspiring Women of 2006.


In February 2013, BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour described her as Britain's second-most powerful woman after Queen Elizabeth II; Theresa May was Home Secretary at the time, and the most senior woman in that government.