Rival's Interview Helps Settle Britain's Election

Theresa May will become prime minister this week
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 11, 2016 8:10 AM CDT
Updated Jul 11, 2016 1:22 PM CDT
Rival's Interview Helps Settle Britain Election
British Home Secretary Theresa May.   (Chris Radburn/PA via AP)

Last week, we learned that Britain's next prime minister would be a woman, and on Monday we learned which woman that will be: Theresa May. The nation's home secretary secured the position when her only opponent, Andrea Leadsom, pulled out of the race to lead the ruling Conservative Party, reports the AP. Meanwhile, outgoing PM David Cameron announced he would tender his resignation to the queen on Wednesday, which means that May, 59, will become Britain's first female prime minister since Margaret Thatcher in just a matter of days. The surprise move by Leadsom, 53, came after she received a barrage of criticism over the weekend for suggesting in a Times of London interview that she would make a better prime minister because she's a mother and thus has more of a stake in Britain's future, reports the New York Times.

May and her husband do not have children, and the Guardian notes she has previously conveyed she is not childless by choice. Leadsom has accused the Times of London of "gutter journalism" and of distorting her remarks, but the paper stands by its story and has released a transcript of the interview, which includes this line from Leadsom: "I am sure Theresa will be really sad she doesn't have children, so I don't want this to be 'Andrea has children, Theresa hasn't' because I think that would be really horrible." Talking to reporters Monday after the developments, May said she was "honored and humbled to have been chosen by the Conservative Party to become its leader." Her big task, of course, will be to guide the UK through its transition out of the European Union in the wake of the Brexit vote. May voted to remain in the EU but has pledged to respect voters' wishes. (More Theresa May stories.)

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