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May’s First Job as British PM Is to Set Up Brexit Ministry | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Britain’s Home Secretary Theresa May, who is due to take over as prime minister on Wednesday, waves as she leaves after a cabinet meeting at number 10 Downing Street, in central London, Britain July 12, 2016. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

Theresa May will step into power on Wednesday, replacing British Prime Minister David Cameron who resigned after the EU Referendum result in June. Cameron is expected to hand in his resignation to the Queen after his last Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons.

May, 59, won the Conservative leadership contest after rival candidate Andrea Leadsom, Energy Minister, withdrew on Monday.

May has been the Home Secretary for six years and will now become U.K.’s second female Prime Minister after Margaret Thatcher.

After taking office, she is expected to form a new cabinet and fill a number of senior positions with females, creating a gender-balanced cabinet. She is also expected to balance her cabinet with both “Leave” and “Remain” supporters to satisfy the conflicting camps in the Conservative Party.

“Of course Theresa is going to want to make sure she’s got a balanced ticket that represents the views of different parts of the party,” cabinet minister Chris Grayling, who campaigned for “Leave” and managed May’s leadership campaign, told BBC radio.

May, will take on the task of delivering the monumental “Brexit” and uniting a divided Conservative party and nation.

Prior to the EU referendum, May campaigned for Britain to remain in the EU. Although, she was often quiet and low-key in the “Remain” campaign, she has said that “Brexit means Brexit” and promised to make a success of “Brexit”.


May has said she plans to set up a new government department to lead Britain’s negotiations over leaving the EU. She also said that it must be headed by someone who supported the “Leave” campaign.

“That’s very sensible. It will ensure confidence among those in the party who did campaign to leave that they have a champion who believes in what they campaigned for,” stated Grayling.

It is believed that Grayling may be given the task. He recently proposed a timetable for “Brexit” to be completed by 2019 in an interview with the Financial Times.

Other EU members have asserted that Britain must trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty – which formally begins the process of leaving the EU within a two-year deadline – as soon as possible. May has said she will not rush into it. She also added that she will not trigger it until next year.

The “Brexit” has resulted in an intense political divide within the Labor Party, with many accusing leader Jeremy Corbyn of failing to campaign fervently enough for “Remain”. He lost a vote of no confidence among Labor MPs by 172 votes to 40.

Corbyn has refused to resign as Labor leader, citing strong support from the party’s grassroots members and the fact that he was elected just 10 months ago with almost 60% of more than 400,000 votes cast in his favor.

Angela Eagle, the former Shadow Business Secretary, launched her leadership bid on Monday. Owen Smith, the former Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary announced his leadership challenge on Wednesday.