What you need to know about PM Theresa May

Well, that was quick. The UK’s new Prime Minister Theresa May has already got her new cabinet in place - but where does she stand on some of the issues that Mumsnetters care about? 

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On feminism

Ken Clarke described her as “a bloody difficult woman”.

Her reply: "Politics could do with some bloody difficult women, actually".

In 2005, May said: "Every day that we are unwilling to embrace a future in which all men and women respect each other as absolute equals is another day we will be out of government."


On domestic violence

As home secretary, she made violence against women a key issue - setting up an inquiry by the HMIC into police handlings of domestic abuse. During this time, she oversaw the introduction of a new domestic abuse offence of "coercive and controlling behaviour", which now carries a penalty of up to five years in prison and a fine.

"Victims of abuse are still being let down and reports are not being taken seriously enough." May 2016


On childcare

May has made no specific mention of childcare - though she has said that the UK must make use of "the skills and qualifications of women who are currently out of work."


On education

May supports free schools, allowing "educational charities, philanthropists, existing school federations, not-for-profit trusts, cooperatives and groups of parents to set up new schools in the state sector" (2009).

In 2004, she voted against raising the tuition cap fee, but changed her stance and voted for it in 2010.


On abortion

In 2008, she voted in favour of a bill to reduce the legal abortion time limit to 20 weeks from its current limit of 24 weeks in most circumstances.

In October 2012 she said: "I think there is some scope for reduction [in the legal abortion time limit]. My personal view is a reduction to 20 weeks."


On the gender pay gap

In her leadership speech, she acknowledged: "If you are a woman, you still earn less than a man."

In 2010, she said: "I know that women can rise to the top based on talent and merit. I also know that sometimes it can be harder than it needs to be. The coalition is absolutely committed to breaking down the barriers that remain to equal pay in modern Britain today."




On Yarl’s Wood

This year, she imposed a 72-hour time limit on the detention of pregnant women - though the House of Lords had voted in favour of an outright ban.

"We need to balance the welfare of pregnant women with the need to maintain a robust and workable immigration system and ensure that those with no right to be here leave the UK." April, 2016


On LGBT rights

In her inaugural speech this week, May praised David Cameron’s introduction of same-sex marriage, which she voted for in 2013.

Previously, she’d voted against repealing Section 28, which made it illegal to talk positively about homosexuality in schools (2000), and in 2002, she opposed same-sex adoption.

Regarding her evolving views on the latter, she said in 2010: "On gay adoption I have changed my mind… because I have been persuaded that when you are looking at the future for a child, I think it’s better for a child who is perhaps in an institutional environment, if they have an opportunity of being in a stable, family environment – be that a heterosexual couple or a gay couple."


On the economy

She has usually voted in favour of welfare cuts. She used her leadership speech this week to talk about ensuring that, under her leadership, economic policy worked for all.

"It is apparent to anybody who is in touch with the real world that people do not feel our economy works [for everyone]... The Conservative Party will put itself - completely, absolutely, unequivocally - at the service of ordinary, working people. It is why we will make Britain a country that works for everyone."



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Last updated: 5 months ago