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Politics & War

Politics & War

Theresa Mary May

Theresa Mary May


  • Born on 1 October 1956 in Eastbourne, Sussex, May is the only child of Zaidee Mary (1928–1982) and Hubert Brasier (1917–1981).
  • When she was 13, May won a place at the former Holton Park Girls’ Grammar School, a state school in Wheatley.May attended the University of Oxford, read geography at St Hugh’s College, and graduated with a second class BA degree in 1977.
  • Between 1977 and 1983, May worked at the Bank of England, and from 1985 to 1997, as a financial consultant. She served as Head of the European Affairs Unit from 1989 to 1996 and Senior Adviser on International Affairs from 1996 to 1997.


  • Ahead of the 1997 general election, May was selected as the Conservative candidate for Maidenhead. She was elected with 25,344 votes (49.8%).
  • She became the first of the 1997 MPs to enter the Shadow Cabinet when in 1999 she was appointed Shadow Education and Employment Secretary. After the 2001 election the new Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith kept her in the Shadow Cabinet, moving her to the Transport portfolio.
  • May was appointed the first female Chairman of the Conservative Party in July 2002.


  • On 6 May 2010, May was re-elected MP for Maidenhead with an increased majority of 16,769 – 60% of the vote.
  • On 12 May 2010, when May was appointed Home Secretary and Minister for Women and Equality by Prime Minister David Cameron as part of his first Cabinet.
  •  On 30 June 2016, May announced her candidacy for the leadership of the Conservative Party to replace David Cameron, who resigned following the outcome of the European Union membership referendum in which 52% of voters voted in favour of leaving the EU



  • On 13 July 2016, two days after becoming Leader of the Conservative Party, May was appointed Prime Minister by Queen Elizabeth II, becoming only the second female British Prime Minister after Margaret Thatcher.
  • May 29, 2017, Prime Minister May officially told Parliament that she had invoked Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, legislation triggering the legal process to set Brexit in motion.
  • On 4 December 2018, on a motion passed by MPs by 311 to 293 votes, the May Government was found in contempt of Parliament; the first government to be found in contempt in history.


  • On January 15, 2019, just 10 weeks before Britain was scheduled to leave the bloc, May suffered a historic defeat in Parliament, where lawmakers rejected her proposed Brexit deal by a vote of 432 to 202.
  • With no clear path to resolve the issue, Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn declared that he was offering a motion of no confidence in May’s government.


  • On 14 February the same year, May suffered another Commons defeat after MPs voted by 303 to 258 – a majority of 45 – against a motion endorsing the government’s Brexit negotiating strategy.
  • On 12 March, May was again defeated in the Commons by 149 votes (242 in favour and 391 against) on her latest deal after she secured last-minute concessions from the EU.
  • On 29 March, May was again defeated by 58 votes in the Commons (286 in favour and 344 against) on the withdrawal deal but not the political declaration


  • On 27 March 2019 at a meeting of the 1922 Committee, May confirmed that she will “not lead the UK in the next stage of Brexit negotiations.
  • On May 24, 2019, May announced she was resigning as Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative Party. The news came shortly after the unveiling of her latest contested Brexit plan, which included an offer to vote on a second referendum.