Theresa May today became Britain’s second woman prime minister after Margaret Thatcher as the tough-talking leader officially took charge with a heavy workload already waiting in her in-tray after the Brexit vote.
The 59-year-old Conservative party leader’s first task will be to put in place a frontline team that can help her through the challenges of negotiating Britain’s exit from the European Union, having promised that “Brexit means Brexit”.
Britain’s second-ever female Prime Minister since Thatcher’s term in 1979-1990 is widely expected to champion the cause of women in politics and a series of female Tory MPs are set for prominent roles in her Cabinet.
Indian-origin employment minister, Priti Patel, can expect a promotion from a junior ministerial role under David Cameron, who had given her the special distinction of being able to attend Cabinet meetings and also appointed as his Indian Diaspora Champion.
The 44-year-old Gujarat-origin MP was a significant pro-Brexit voice, who had recently thrown her support behind May as the ideal candidate to become the Prime Minister, likening her to her predecessor Margaret Thatcher described as the Iron Lady of British politics.
May is expected to ensure stability for many roles, while putting her own stamp on the Prime Minister’s office. Others in line for significant roles include energy minister Amber Rudd, international development minister Justine Greening, who recently came out as an openly gay minister, and home office minister Karen Bradley.
May has been in British Parliament as MP for Maidenhead since 1997 and under outgoing Prime Minister David Cameron, she has been the longest-serving home secretary for Britain in 50 years. She has worked with the Bank of England in the past before entering front-line politics.