Theresa May

2016 was a tumultuous year for politics internationally. In Great Britain they had to deal with the aftermath of the EU Referendum. One major issue they had to deal with was the resignation of Prime Minister David Cameron. Theresa May was chosen as his replacement, becoming the second female Prime Minister of Great Britain.

After studying geography at St. Hugh‚Äôs College she spent the next two decades working in the financial industry. She didn’t enter the political world until the 1990s, suffering defeats in the early part of the decade. In 1997 she was elected as a Conservative MP for Maidenhead. Her career took off rapidly and in 2002 she was named the Chairman of the Conservative Party. She was the first woman to hold this position. From 1999 to 2010 she served in a number of shadow cabinets¬†as¬†various Shadow Secretaries. This included roles as the Shadow Transport Secretary, Shadow Work and Transport Secretary and the Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary.

In 2010 she became Home Secretary and she would go on to become the longest-serving Home Secretary in six decades. During her time as Home Secretary she oversaw many changes in the UK. These included tougher restrictions on immigration, taking a harder line on drugs policy as well as creating the National Crime Agency. One of the defining moments of her time as Home Secretary was the deportation of Abu Qatada. He was a radical cleric who had been arrested in 2002, and despite attempts by other Home Secretaries he wasn’t deported to Jordan until 2013.

Since becoming Prime Minister, Theresa has had to deal with the fallout from the EU Referendum. Despite the fact that she voted to remain in the EU, she has focused her attention on withdrawing the UK from the European Union. She has also increased restrictions on immigration. More recently Theresa has faced criticism from many people for not opposing the travel ban that was brought in to the United States a few weeks ago. In response to the travel ban a petition was signed by almost 2 million people asking for a state visit invitation that had been issued to Donald Trump. The British government rejected this petition, calling the United States one of the U.K.’s closest allies.

The coming months and even years will be some of the most important for the United Kingdom. They will be leaving the European Union and the outcome of this is unknown. Theresa will have to steer the country through this time of change and the impact of Brexit will determine the legacy that Theresa leaves behind.

-Michelle O’Brien
Junior Girl
Girl Museum Inc.

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