British Prime Minister David Cameron has revealed he will officially step down on Wednesday, months ahead of schedule. His announcement came after it emerged his replacement will be Home Secretary Theresa May, whose last rival for the leadership of the Conservative Party dropped out this morning.
Cameron said he quit after Prime Minister’s Questions on July 13, and May will then become Prime Minister on Wednesday evening.
Although Theresa May is a controversial figure who has modelled herself on Margaret Thatcher, her advancement will be preferred in Ireland against the more extreme candidates for the post, Michael Gove and Andrea Leadsom.
However, she is a supporter of austerity which continues to increase deprivation in the north of Ireland. She has consistently opposed the Human Rights Act and the European Convention on Human Rights.
As Home Secretary, she’s been an authoritarian ‘securocrat’ who has championed greater surveillance powers which have led to Britain being described as a surveillance state.
Despite mutterings of reform, she has presided over draconian ‘stop and search’ legislation which is routinely used to harass and oppress Catholics in the north of Ireland. She has also been pushing an “extremism bill”, based on a definition of extremism that she herself has been unable to define.
At the Home Office, she has promoted anti-immigrant propaganda, while her own immigration policies have failed dramatically. Her refusal this week to guarantee EU nationals’ the right to stay in Britain displayed a new level of extremist zeal.
Tory veteran Ken Clarke made unguarded remarks recently about her being a “bloody difficult woman”, while colleagues have described as being unpleasant to work with -- but that she will usually “do a deal in the end”.
Her rapid transition to becoming British Prime Minister gives very little time for her to prepare for a massive agenda which involves. As a first step, she will manage the British exit from the European Union. She will then be presented with an independence referendum in Scotland, which now appears almost certain to pass, as well as irresistible pressure to end the obsolete Union with the north of Ireland and Wales.
Her performance over the next weeks and months will be closely watched as an important indicator of the future direction of Anglo-Irish politics.