The new Prime Minister Theresa May has a reputation that precedes her of handling matters coolly, calmly and confidently. Utv Pakistan Report
In six years as Home Secretary – a record in itself – she has had to deal with the riots, handle the terrorist threat at home, consider if the UK should go to war and stand in for David Cameron chairing an emergency Cobra meeting after the murder of soldier Lee Rigby.
But while we might know how well she can turn her hand to the extraordinary, much less is known about what she steadfastly believes – and what she is actually going to do.
Indeed, in interviews, she often steers clear of giving much away about herself.
One thing the British people should not expect is another Margaret Thatcher.
She said: ““I think there can only ever be one Margaret Thatcher.
“I’m not someone who naturally looks to role models. I’ve always, whatever job it is I’m doing at the time, given it my best shot.
“I put my all into it, and try to do the best job I can.”
Here is what we already know about the beliefs of the woman who is now leading the nation.
1. ‘Brexit means Brexit’
Theresa May has been quite steadfast on this matter in the last fortnight.
She said: “I couldn’t be clearer. BREXIT means Brexit. And we’re going to make a success of it.
“There will be no attempts to remain inside the EU, no attempts to rejoin it by the back door, and no second referendum.”
2. ‘Get the whole economy firing’
Theresa May’s elevation to PM has already boosted the ECONOMY and markets and the pound – craving confidence and political stability – have already reacted well to her appointment.
The Bank of England is expected to cut the base interest rate on the first day of her Premiership – which will pump more money into the economy.
May has suggested she wants in place a proper industrial strategy “to get the whole economy firing”.
Top of her priority list is likely to be putting in place a timetable for Brexit which will further restore confidence and stability to the markets.
3. ‘Cut the budget deficit’
While most in the city believe that after six years under Cameron AUSTERITY has run its course – Theresa May has said the government should “continue with its intention to reduce public spending and cut the budget deficit”.
4. ‘Control who comes into our country’
IMMIGRATION and border control is one subject Theresa May has not shied away from commenting on – and despite being in the Remain camp she has strong beliefs in common with Leave.
She has said: “There are millions of people in poorer countries who would love to live in Britain, and there is a limit to the amount of immigration any country can and should take.
“We must have an immigration system that allows us to control who comes into our country.
“Britain does not need net immigration in the hundreds of thousands every year… not every person coming to Britain right now is a skilled electrician, engineer or doctor…
“There is no case, in the national interest, for immigration on the scale we have experienced over the last decade.”
5. ‘Cherish the NHS’
Theresa May has said she will “cherish” the National Health Service.
If Jeremy Hunt does not stay on as health minister it will likely signal that she has a different attitude and potential approach to the junior doctors’ strike.
Michael Gove promised an extra £100m to prop up the NHS which is in deficit – May made no such pledge.
She will probably first want to give the gigantic employer’s workers from the EU some kind of reassurance that they will still have a job in the UK after Brexit.
6. ‘My own plans for schools policy’
Just when teachers had recovered from Michael Gove’s litany of changes, Theresa May steps up to the fore.
She has already said: “School reform is … a passion for so many Conservatives – and I will be setting out my own plans for schools policy in the coming weeks.”
Grammar School-educated Theresa May is unlikely to waver in the continued push for free schools and academies in England which has been a cornerstone of policy in recent years.
As shadow education secretary in 2001, May backed grammar schools – a policy which ended under Cameron and Gove – and she might bring back increased academic selection.
May has previously supported the ‘fair funding formula’ for state schools in England – but that will require more spending.
As Home Secretary May imposed a stringent visa regime on overseas students at British universities.
In the short term she may want to immediately reassure parents of EU nationals studying in British schools that they have a future in UK education.
7. ‘Solving poverty is about aspiration and skills’
The four-year freeze in BENEFITS will generate billions in cuts – but if Brexit creates a downturn in the economy that bill could rise sharply.
Theresa May will have to get a grip of the Universal Credit Programme which is set to her millions of low-paid working families – and there is disquiet among the Conservatives about cuts are hitting the sick and families with more than two children.
She consistently voted for reductions in welfare spending – and supported the ‘Bedroom Tax’.
When work and pensions secretary in 2009 she said: “Tax credits do not help people get better jobs; in fact they can create poverty traps that actually disincentivise people from working more hours or finding better-paid jobs.
“Solving poverty is also about aspiration and skills rather than giving people extra financial help. And solving it is about tackling educational failure, antisocial behaviour, debt problems and addiction, and of course it’s about work.
“High levels of worklessness have not only created pockets of serious poverty but have crushed the aspirations of whole communities, changing social norms from hard work and discipline to antisocial behaviour and idleness.”
May has been curiously silent however on the elephant in the room – the greater than inflation rises in PENSIONS in recent years. This could be a signal that this will have to end under her reign.
8. ‘More new projects like HS2’
When it comes to matters like INFRASTRUCTURE, Theresa May is a fan of more spending generally – and borrowing more to fund them.
She stated she wanted “more Treasury-backed project bonds for new infrastructure projects”.
May also appears keen to extend the Northern Powerhouse idea to other parts of the country.
She said: “A plan to help not one or even two of our great regional cities but every single one of them.”
8. ‘Get more houses built’
The UK is in dire need of more affordable housing to cope with demand caused by immigration and an ageing population – not to mention to tackle soaring house prices.
Theresa May can’t hide from this – and will have to formulate a major housebuilding programme going forward which could become a cornerstone of her reign.
She has already said: “We need to do far more to get more houses built.”
9. ‘Crack down on tax avoidance’
Theresa May wants to see big international corporations pay a fairer share of TAX in the UK.
She said: “It doesn’t matter to me whether you’re Amazon, Google or Starbucks, you have a duty to put something back, you have a debt to your fellow citizens, you have a responsibility to pay your taxes.
“So as Prime Minister, I will crack down on individual and corporate tax avoidance and evasion.”
May also wants to make it harder for foreign investors to launch hostile takeovers of British firms.
She said: “As we saw when Cadbury’s – that great Birmingham company – was bought by Kraft, or when AstraZeneca was almost sold to Pfizer, transient shareholders – who are mostly companies investing other people’s money – are not the only people with an interest when firms are sold or close.
“Workers have a stake, local communities have a stake, and often the whole country has a stake.”
“A proper industrial strategy wouldn’t automatically stop the sale of British firms to foreign ones, but it should be capable of stepping in to defend a sector that is as important as pharmaceuticals is to Britain.”
She also wants to give consumers and employees more of a say in the running of BIG BUSINESS.
She said: “We’re going to change that system – and we’re going to have not just consumers represented on company boards, but employees as well.”
Top of her priority list will be a plan within Brexit that stops the financial sector moving its businesses abroad – which would hugely damage the UK economy.
10. ‘More transparency’
Theresa May has felt exceptionally passionate about FAT CAT PAY for a long time – and a clamp down is expected.
She said: “Executive pay has more than trebled and there is an irrational, unhealthy and growing gap between what these companies pay their workers and what they pay their bosses.
“So as part of the changes I want to make to corporate governance, I want to make shareholder votes on corporate pay not just advisory but binding. I want to see more transparency.”
11. ‘Lower cost bills’
When it comes to the UTILITIES, like Margaret Thatcher before her – this Prime Minister is a fan of competition.
She said: “I also want us to be prepared to use – and reform – competition law so that markets work better for people.
“If there is evidence that the big utility firms and the retail banks are abusing their roles in highly-consolidated markets, we shouldn’t just complain about it, we shouldn’t say it’s too difficult, we should do something about it.”
Ultimately May wants to see prices come down.
She said: “I want to see an energy policy that emphasises the reliability of supply and lower costs for users.”
12. ‘Personal views’
Theresa May was one of the first cabinet ministers to say she believes the time limit on ABORTION should be reduced.
She previously said it was her “personal view” that the legal limit for abortions should be cut from 24 to 20 weeks.
It may not seem like a big issue to the British electorate for now – but when Cameron became PM nobody was talking about gay marriage, and that became one of his key achievements in six years.
13. ‘Strengthening the UK’
Before becoming PM, Theresa May promised defending the Union would be a “major priority” for her – and that SCOTLAND would be a “strong and integral part” of the UK.
She said: “Strengthening and sustaining the United Kingdom must be a major priority for the next Prime Minister and under my leadership it will be.
“I will always stand up for Scotland’s place in the Union and make the clear and passionate case that we are all stronger and safer together.”
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon wants “early engagement” with Theresa May overBrexit – keen that Scotland remains within the EU, which is unlikely.
May campaigned for the union in the 2014 independence referendum and her supporters said this week that allowing a second would be “irresponsible”.
But it would be a brave move to attempt to block Holyrood from calling a second vote.
14. ‘Bloody Difficult Women’
Theresa May has never been painted as an EQUAL RIGHTS activist – but her views are clear.
Last week former Chancellor Ken Clarke described Theresa May as a “bloody difficult woman”.
May’s response was sharp and to the point: “Politics could do with some Bloody Difficult Women actually.”
She also has little time for the relentless focus on women’s appearance in society – especially her own.
May said: “I like clothes and I like shoes. One of the challenges for women in the workplace is to be ourselves and I say you can be clever and like clothes. You can have a career and like clothes.”
14. ‘Ordinary, working people first’
Theresa May might just be the first Conservative leader in recent memory to put the ordinary worker first.
She said: “If you’re from an ordinary, WORKING-CLASS family, life is just much harder than many people in politics realise.
“You have a job, but you don’t always have job security. You have your own home, but you worry about mortgage rates going up.
“You can just about manage, but you worry about the cost of living and the quality of the local school, because there’s no other choice for you.”
“These are the reasons why, under my leadership, 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.”
Only time will tell if the new Prime Minister Theresa May is true to her word…