So Theresa May is set to move into Number 10 Downing on Wednesday after Andrea Leadsom withdrew her candidacy for the Tory leadership. May and Leadsom had been set to face off in a leadership vote on September 9th. But Leadsom faces questions concerning her resume and took heat for saying that a woman with children was better suited to become Prime Minister. May has no children.
May, of course, become Britain’s second female Prime Minister which invariably draws comparisons to Margaret Thatcher. But I think the similarities end there. Whereas Thatcher was a conservative champion, May is a statist in the Blair-Cameron mold and probably even more so as her tenure as Home Secretary attests. It was only last year that May tried to ram through a bill that would have authorized police and security forces to have access to every Briton’s internet browsing history until a cabinet revolt put those plans on ice. But now that May will be in the driver’s seat who can say these proposals won’t be revived?
No doubt May is more palatable than Jeremy Corbyn, but this is a rather low bar. Speaking of Labour, Angela Eagle formally announced her intention to challenge Corbyn for the party leadership. But Eagle’s announcement was overshadowed by May’s impending ascension. To give how little the media cared for Eagle’s announcement, they had no questions for her after her press conference.
Of course, the main task for May is how she will set the terms for negotiating Brexit. May was a Remain supporter, but a rather tepid one. So it won’t be much of a leap for May to become a staunch Leave advocate as it will be what cements her legacy. Should she negotiate good terms for Britain, May could win three majority governments like Maggie Thatcher. But if May stumbles, it will give Labour an opening it hasn’t had since the start of the decade.