Tag Archives: Theresa May
Even though she’s ahead in the polls, it’s a gutsy move.
UK Prime Minister Theresa May has called a snap general election for 8 June, taking the country by surprise.
The previous election was in 2015, so another was not due until 2020.
Ms May pledged several times after taking office last year not to call an early election, so this is something of a U-turn.
Why the U-turn?
The prime minister wants a strong mandate in parliament going into what are likely to be fraught negotiations with Europe over Britain’s exit from the EU.
Her Conservative party has a relatively slim majority in the House of Commons, won in 2015 under the previous leader David Cameron. But since that election the main opposition Labour party has collapsed in the polls, leaving her in a much stronger position and making an election win significantly more likely.
A victory in June would also hand her a very important personal mandate. Having taken over from Mr Cameron when he resigned mid-term, after losing the Brexit referendum, she has yet to win her own general election.
We are returning to a foreign policy more reminiscent of Kennedy or Reagan. I welcome it.
In her speech, Mrs May said: “It is in our interests – those of Britain and America together – to stand strong together to defend our values, our interests and the very ideas in which we believe.
“This cannot mean a return to the failed policies of the past. The days of Britain and America intervening in sovereign countries in an attempt to remake the world in our own image are over.
“But nor can we afford to stand idly by when the threat is real and when it is in our own interests to intervene. We must be strong, smart and hard-headed. And we must demonstrate the resolve necessary to stand up for our interests.
“And whether it is the security of Israel in the Middle East or Estonia in the Baltic states, we must always stand up for our friends and allies in democratic countries that find themselves in tough neighbourhoods too,” she said, to applause from her audience.
May’s appointment of hard line anti-EU people seems to indicate that she won’t tolerate anyone going wobbly on Brexit.
Michael Gove has been sacked as justice secretary and replaced by Liz Truss as Theresa May forms her new government, in her first full day as UK PM.
Education Secretary Nicky Morgan has also gone, replaced by ex-international development secretary Justine Greening.
Culture Secretary John Whittingdale has been sacked, while Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has stayed in his post.
On Wednesday Boris Johnson was made foreign secretary in a surprise move by Mrs May. Philip Hammond is chancellor.
Among Wednesday’s other cabinet appointments, Amber Rudd took over Mrs May’s former role as home secretary, Eurosceptic David Davis was made Brexit secretary and Liam Fox took up a new post of secretary of state for international trade. Michael Fallon was retained as defence secretary.