So it’s happened, Britain has a new Prime Minister: Theresa May. I haven’t written about politics for a while, not since Brexit, and I wasn’t planning to today (it’s not my favourite topic and usually leaves me more downhearted than when I began), but how can I ignore it?
This is what I find most fascinating and thrilling about the whole thing: History is being made in front of our very eyes. In 30 years time when I might have children, I’ll be the one remembering the result of the referendum, and the political turmoil and leadership race(s) that followed, and I’ll be able to say that I remember when Britain got her second female Prime Minister.
If you live abroad and don’t know what’s going on (I know I have some readers from Sweden and Germany – Hi!), or are out of touch with politics right now, and for my own personal benefit in the future, here is a very brief summary of what has happened in the last few weeks. This is just how I have seen it, so don’t disown me if I forget anything…
- On 23rd June 2016 Britain voted whether or not to stay in the EU.
- On 24th June the result was announced: the people of Britain had voted by a small majority (only 1 million) to leave the EU.
- David Cameron announced his resignation as Prime Minister, with effect from October, leaving time for a leadership race for the Conservatives.
- Boris Johnson said he would not stand in the leadership race, shocking many.
- It was shown that despite the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn backing the Remainers, most of the Labour party voted to leave the EU. Therefore a vote of no confidence was held against Jeremy Corbyn by his MPs which he lost.
- Jeremy Corbyn ignored the vote of no confidence. Angela Eagle said she would challenge Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership. Labour’s membership back Jeremy Corbyn although the MPs do not.
- Candidates for Prime Minister included Liam Fox, Michael Gove, Angela Leadsom, Theresa May. After rounds of voting in Parliament and several resignations, the only two candidates remaining were Angela Leadson and Theresa May. The Conservative membership would vote between them.
- Labour said that Jeremy Corbyn could not re-stand as a Labour candidate in a leadership election as he did not have the MP support base. They were wrong and he can.
- Angela Leadsom says in an interview that she would make a better Prime Minister than Theresa May as she is a mother so has a better understanding of what the future needs. There is public outrage at this.
- Angela Leadsom resigns from the leadership election due to the amount of ‘personal abuse’ she received following the interview. There is only one candidate remaining for Prime Minister: Theresa May.
- It is announced that Theresa May will be made Prime Minister on Wednesday (today) instead of waiting until October and that David Cameron will resign after Prime Minister’s Question Time. After this David Cameron goes back to 10 Downing Street humming a little tune. There is public outrage that a General Election will not be called as they say the May has no public mandate to be the Prime Minister. The Conservative membership is angry they did not get a vote and that Angela Leadsom pulled out so easily.
- Theresa May is now Prime Minister. We are yet to hear who her Cabinet are going to be.
So there’s a brief (and I mean really brief and probably slightly inaccurate) teenager’s summary.
A new Prime Minister marks a step in a new direction. May has said Brexit means Brexit. No second referendum. No going back. We made the decision and she will carry it out. She said her government will fight the social injustice and fight for a the underrepresented and politically isolated in her first speech as Prime Minister.
Does this mean a new beginning? Does this mean a unified nation? Somehow I doubt it. But we shall just have to wait and see…! I am fearful for the future, like so many British citizens. Years from now I may read this and laugh at myself, but that is the joy of History…
…You can never tell where it will go next.
PS Update: 20:38 (around 1 hr later). Boris Johnson has just been made Foreign Secretary. Above point ^ proved. I don’t know what I think of Theresa May anymore… but let’s try and be optimistic.