Theresa May: 8 Things You Should Know About the UK’s New Prime Minister
Policy + Politics

Theresa May: 8 Things You Should Know About the UK’s New Prime Minister

REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

Theresa May became Britain’s second female prime minister Wednesday, three weeks after the U.K. voted to leave the European Union. The 59-year-old becomes the 13th prime minister to lead the U.K. under Queen Elizabeth II, and she assumes office after having served as home secretary from 2010 until this year.

Related: Theresa May’s Biggest Challenge Is Her Party’s Division on Brexit

Here are eight things you don’t know about her:

  • She’s the daughter of a minister and as the Guardian put it, she’s “steeped in moral purpose.”
  • May has been called a “micro-manager,” who oversees every decision of her subordinates.
  • She demands loyalty, but doesn’t surround herself with sycophants. She likes a good argument and will change her mind if one is made.
  • She may be a Conservative but she’s got an across-the-board high tax, high spending agenda that even a liberal like Bernie Sanders might love.
  • She’s a new “suffragette,” stumping for gender equality and women’s rights.
  • She opposes the UK’s high levels of immigration. According to VOX, May used her power as home secretary to impose a rule that would block skilled immigrants from permanently settling in the UK if they made less than £37,000 a year (roughly $53,000 at pre-Brexit exchange rates). Anyone who made less than that would be deported.
  • May doesn’t pander to political correctness. She would not reverse the detention of David Miranda, Glenn Greenwald’s partner. Greenwald published the Wikileaks documents in the Guardian and Miranda was detained under the Terrorism Act of 2000.
  • It may not count for much, but she was found in contempt of court for “totally unacceptable and regrettable behavior” when she disregarded a legal agreement to free an Algerian from a U.K. detention center.