8 things Theresa May will do if she gets picked to be the next Prime Minister


With the country in panic over the consequences of the EU referendum and disagreements in Westminster that have been described as "civil war", Theresa May has a tough job ahead of her if she is to assume the role of next Prime Minister.

But the Home Secretary stood in front of politicians and journalists to tell the nation why she is the best woman for job as the battle for the seat begins between herself and other contenders, including Michael Gove.

Kicking off her speech on Thursday morning, she admitted that the UK now faces a "period of uncertainty" following its vote to leave the EU and that reaching a point of economic and social stability will be a "complex process" that will take "several years".

Theresa May arrives with her top backer, Chris Grayling.
Theresa May arrives with her top backer, Chris Grayling (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

But with her as Prime Minister, she said she would aim to achieve that with these key promises:

1. Brexit is Brexit. Nipping all hopes for a second referendum in the bud, the PM hopeful said there "must be no attempts to rejoin the EU".

2. No general election before it is due in 2020 and no emergency budget before the usual Autumn Statement. May said these measures would add to uncertainty and instability within the Government and country.

3. No tax increases. Avoiding tax increases, she said, would be a "priority" in a bid to provide reassurance for consumers, employers and investors.

May makes promises about taxes and migration.
May makes promises about taxes and migration (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

4. Not change trading relationships or legal status of EU nationals. Allaying the fears of many businesses and individual migrants since the referendum, May vowed that for "the foreseeable future" there would be no change to trading relationships with the EU, or to the legal status of EU nationals in the UK or Britons living and working in Europe.

5. Ensure opinions of Britain stay strong. The Home Secretary promised to continue promoting Britain as "the same outward-looking, big-thinking country we have always been" and to encourage the EU to still see us as "open for business".

6. Not let the referendum result take priority over everything. As well as making sure the rest of the EU sees the UK as a strong centre, she said the Government itself cannot be "redefined" by dealing with Brexit and must continue to work towards "the vision of a country that truly works for everyone" within it.

Referendum protesters in London show what they really want.
Referendum protesters in London show what they really want (Ian West/PA)

7. Introduce a department to take care of Brexit. To achieve that aim, May set out her plan to create an entire Government department to focus on negotiating the UK's relationship with the EU.

8. Keep immigration control as a priority. Addressing warnings from EU leaders that Britain would not be able to take part in the single market if it did not accept free movement of people between borders, May explained that, while it would be a priority to keep Britain in that market, she would push to maintain a control of migration. She emphasised that it was a key concern for Leave voters and that to try to "wriggle out" of the responsibility would be "unacceptable to the public".

May said that although she had campaigned for the Remain side during the referendum debate, she wanted to "make the most of the opportunities" that Brexit might present and highlighted several times the important of creating a "united" Conservative Party in order to do that.

Ensuring a united party is top of May's agenda.
Ensuring a united party is top of May's agenda (PA)

Promoting herself on a personal level she nodded to her political record of exposing corruption and working on high-profile extradition cases.

"Public service is who I am," she said. "I don't wear my heart on my sleeve, I just get on with the job in front of me." When asked about the importance of having a female Prime Minister, she added that she had championed more women on the green benches in the Commons but that, ultimately, "it's about the quality of the individual in doing that job".

She rounded off her appearance with a pretty concise: "I'm Theresa May and I think I'm the best person to be Prime Minister for this country."