Theresa May: Meet the woman who will be Britain's new Prime Minister

Theresa May is set to replace David Cameron as leader of the Conservative Party and Britain's prime minister.

She received substantial support from her party in the leadership race; in the last round of MPs' votes, she polled 199 to her rival Angela Leadsom's 84. On July 11, Leadsom withdrew from the contest, leaving May the sole runner in the leadership race.

Who is Theresa May?

Theresa Mary May is the Member of Parliament for Maidenhead.

Born on Oct 1, 1956, in Eastbourne, Sussex, she was educated at Holton Park Girls' Grammar School in Oxfordshire and St Hugh's College Oxford (Geography).

She entered Parliament in 1997 and is currently the longest-serving Home Secretary in 50 years.

Will she be Prime Minister?

Mrs May, 59, will almost certainly be declared Prime Minister now that Andrea Leadsom, the energy minister, has quit the two-horse race to succeed David Cameron as leader of the Conservative Party.

It came after the furore around Mrs Leadsom's comments which appeared to suggest that being a mother made her a better candidate for the job than Mrs May.

The chairman of the Conservative backbench 1922 Committee will have to decide whether, as the only candidate remaining on the ballot paper, she can become leader without facing a vote of the party's 150,000 members.

If her appointment is confirmed, Mrs May will become Britain's second female prime minister after Margaret Thatcher.

Britain's new Conservative Party leader Theresa May and her husband Philip John May. Photo / AP
Britain's new Conservative Party leader Theresa May and her husband Philip John May. Photo / AP

Who is Theresa May's husband?

She is married to banker Philip May and has no children. The pair, who have a shared love of cricket, met at a Conservative Association dance party and have been married for 36 years. They live in Sonning, Berkshire.

Mrs May is truly the quiet woman of British politics. The Home Secretary played a clever hand during the EU referendum by staying out of the fray and letting events play out around her.

Her restrained approach has helped her avoid alienating Tory Brexiteers and the polls suggest her reputation has held up better than some of her leadership rivals.

In an interview with the BBC she gave a taste of which direction the Party could go under her leadership when she made a clear call for "further reform" to EU free movement rules.

Before politics

The only child of Reverend Hubert Brasier, an Anglican vicar and his wife, Zaidee, Mrs May grew up in Oxfordshire. She was educated at both grammar and comprehensive schools before gaining a place at Oxford University.

She started her career at the Bank of England and then moved to the Association for Payment Clearing Services (APACS) before becoming an MP.

She began her political career stuffing envelopes at her local Conservative Association before becoming a councillor in the London Borough of Merton from 1986 to 1994.

Key quote

"We know that for people in low-paid jobs, wages are forced down even further (as a result of immigration) while some people are forced out of work altogether"

Key moments

• 1999 - 2010: Holds a variety of shadow cabinet posts
• 2002: Becomes the first female chairman of the Conservatives and says it is seen as the "nasty party" - while wearing a pair of now-famous leopard print kitten heels
• 2010 - 2012: Minister for Women & Equalities 2010: Appointed Home Secretary, and makes it her mission to reform the police service and control immigration
• 2012: Blocks British computer hacker Gary McKinnon's extradition to the US saying it would contravene his human rights
• 2014: Becomes the longest-serving Home Secretary for 50 years
• 2016: Touted as frontrunner to replace David Cameron as leader of the Conservative Party and prime minister

Political experience

• Councillor, London Borough of Merton 1986-94
• 1992 parliamentary candidate NW Durham
• 1994 parliamentary candidate in the Barking by-election
• MP for Maidenhead 1997 to present
• Shadow education secretary 1999-2001
• Shadow transport 2001-2003, Conservative Party Chairman 2002-3
• Shadow transport 2003-4
• Shadow culture media & sport 2004-5
• Shadow leader of the House of Commons 2005-9
• Shadow work & pensions 2009-10
• Home Secretary 2010-present

Other experience

• Bank of England 1977-83
• Association for Clearing Payment Services 1985-95

- Daily Telegraph UK

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