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Lady Theresa May's Biography

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Theresa May was born on 1 October 1956 in Eastbourne, the only child of a Church of England vicar Rev Hubert Brasier, and was educated at Wheatley Park Comprehensive school,  Holton Park Girls' Grammar School and then read Geography at St Hugh’s College, Oxford University.

Her father died in a car crash and her mother, who had multiple sclerosis, died a year later.

Theresa May worked at the Bank of England from 1973 to 1983 and then from 1985 to 1995 she held senior roles at the Association for Payment Clearing Services (APACS).

Theresa May was a councillor in the London Borough of Merton from 1986 to 1994.

Mrs May was elected Member of Parliament for Maidenhead in May 1997.

She has had a quick rise up the political ranks since then.

She was a member of the Shadow Cabinet from 1999 to 2010, including as Shadow Secretary of State for Education and Employment, Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, and Shadow Leader of the House of Commons.

From 2002 to 2003 she was the first woman to be Chairman of the Conservative Party.

Theresa May was appointed Home Secretary in May 2010. She was also Minister for Women & Equalities from 2010 to 2012.

In 2016 she supported the Remain campaign which lost the European Union Referendum.

On 30 June 2016, Theresa May came forward as a candidate for leader of the Conservatives and to be Prime Minister, replacing the incumbent David Cameron, who was resigning.

She was consistently the front-runner amongst the Conservative parliamentary party and in the last ballot won 199 votes, versus 84 for Andrea Leadsom, and just 46 for Michael Gove.

The result meant that the members of the Conservative Party in the country would have the choice of Theresa May and Andrea Leadsom.

However, on 11 July 2016, Andrea Leadsom withdrew from the contest, clearing the way for Theresa May to be the Conservative Party leader and Prime Minister.

David Cameron announced on the same day that he would hand over to Theresa May as Prime Minister on 13 July 2016.

On 18 April 2017, Theresa May announced that there would be a general election on 8 June.

It proved disappointing for May as the Conservatives lost their overall majority and ended up in a minority government.

Her premiership was dominated by the difficult process of Brexit.

On 12 December 2018, she survived a vote of no confidence in her leadership of the Conservative Party with 200 Tory MPs giving her their support and 117 voting against her.

On 15 January 2019, Theresa May's Brexit deal was rejected by a record margin of 230 votes in parliament.

The following evening she survived a no-confidence vote brought by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn by 325 to 306.

On 24 May 2019, Theresa May announced that she was quitting as Conservative Party leader on 7 June, saying would continue to serve as Prime Minister until a new Conservative leader is elected, probably in late July.

Subsequently, Theresa May carried on as an MP on the backbenches.

When her husband Philip was knighted in 2019, she became Lady May.

Lady May chaired a parliamentary inquiry into the life-threatening consequences of having both type 1 diabetes (with which she herself was diagnosed in 2012) and an eating disorder.

In March 2024, she announced that she would be stepping down as an MP at the next election.

She backed Michael Portillo's bid to be Conservative leader in 2001.

She has type 1 diabetes.

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