Cameron Quits; May Begins

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Photo Information: Theresa May became prime minister of the United Kingdom on July 13, 2016. Credit: UK Home Office (licensed under CC BY 2.0)

Yesterday, July 13, British politician Theresa May became prime minister of the United Kingdom. May, who was elected leader of the Conservative Party earlier this month, replaced Prime Minister David Cameron. Cameron’s resignation yesterday followed through on a promise he made to step down after last month’s contentious “Brexit” referendum that will remove the United Kingdom from the European Union. May—who, like Cameron, did not support Brexit—faces a difficult transition period as the United Kingdom begins dealing with the many complications created by the referendum. May is the second woman (after Margaret Thatcher) to serve as prime minister of the United Kingdom.

After being formally invited by Queen Elizabeth II to form a government, freshly minted Prime Minister May addressed the media outside No. 10 Downing Street, her new official London residence. May vowed to fight injustice and improve the lives of working-class families. She said her government’s mission was to work with the people to “build a better Britain,” and create a union “between all of our citizens.” She also said she would follow Cameron’s “one nation” example, praising him as a “great, modern prime minister.”

Theresa Mary Brasier was born in Eastbourne, Sussex, on Oct. 1, 1956. Raised in Oxfordshire, she later studied at St. Hugh’s College, Oxford, and married banker Philip May. She worked at the Bank of Englandbefore serving as a local councillor in Merton, south London. After unsuccessful election bids in 1992 and 1994, May entered Parliament in 1997 as representative for Maidenhead in the House of Commons. She was appointed the first woman chairman of the Conservative Party in 2002 and named home secretary in 2010.

British Prime Minister David Cameron resigned from office on July 13, 2016, following his failure to stop passage of the “Brexit” referendum in late June. Credit: © Getty Images/Thinkstock

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