Theresa May becomes Britain’s PM, promise ‘one nation’ govt

May to make Brexit transition offer in high-stakes

Britain’s new prime minister, Theresa May, said she would lead a “one nation” government as she arrived in Downing Street, promising “a union between all our citizens”.

May, according to a report by The Guardian of London, vowed to tackle injustice, saying: “The government I lead will be driven not by the interests of the privileged few,” and adding that “together we will build a better Britain”.

She stressed her determination to preserve the union between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and said she would rise to the challenge of negotiating exit from the European Union and forge a bold new positive role for Britain in the world.

May also said she would lead a government that would act for everyone: “I know you are working around the clock, I know you are doing your best and I know that sometimes life can be a struggle. The government I lead will be driven not by the interests of the privileged few but by yours. We will do everything we can to give you more control over your lives.”

She spoke outside No 10 shortly after emerging from Buckingham Palace as Britain’s second female prime minister, having paid the traditional visit to the Queen to be invited to form a government.

May’s appointment at the palace, to “kiss hands” with the Queen, as the ceremony is known, came shortly after David Cameron went to Buckingham Palace to tender his resignation.

 

Cameron, who stepped down after the electorate rejected his pleas to vote to remain in the European Union in last month’s referendum, had earlier congratulated May as he left No 10 for the last time as PM with his wife and children.

May swept to her party’s leadership, when her final opponent, the pro-Brexit Andrea Leadsom, dropped out this week after making controversial comments about motherhood. May had served Cameron as home secretary throughout his six years in government.

The new prime minister was expected to make the first senior appointments to her government on Wednesday evening, including a minister for Brexit.

Cameron had ranked a stronger economy, gay marriage and free schools as the heart of his legacy in a final and emotional farewell speech in Downing Street. Standing with his family, he said being prime minister had been “the greatest honour of my life”.

Addressing the waiting media before heading to Buckingham Palace, Cameron sought to paint a positive picture of his time in office, despite it ending suddenly after the EU referendum result.

“It’s not been easy journey, and of course we’ve not got every decision right,” he said, alongside his wife, Samantha, and children Nancy, Elwen and Florence.

Giving his account of six years in office, Cameron highlighted, among other things, gay marriage, the protection of the foreign aid budget, the NHS and the national living wage. He also mentioned the economy and jobs, changes to the care system, free schools and the national citizen service.

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