Theresa May vows ‘bold, new’ future for Britain as E.U. exit awaits
The Washington Post:
A chaotic, weeks-long leadership void in Britain ended abruptly Wednesday evening with Theresa May taking power as prime minister and immediately setting out her vision for a “bold” new role for the country even as it hurtles toward a potentially destabilizing exit from the European Union.
Minutes after curtsying before a handbag-toting queen at Buckingham Palace — the moment May formally ascended to the country’s highest political office — she told a nation still dizzy from developments since it voted to leave the European Union that Britain will prosper in its new incarnation, and become more fair and more equitable.
“As we leave the European Union, we will forge a bold, new, positive role for ourselves in the world, and we will make Britain a country that works not for a privileged few but for every one of us,” May said as she stood in front of Downing Street for the first time as prime minister.
Later in the evening, she appointed a team-of-rivals cabinet, making good on a pledge to select “leave” and “remain” advocates for top jobs. Boris Johnson, a flamboyant, pro-Brexit former London mayor who had openly coveted the keys to 10 Downing Street before his ambitions were throttled by a friend, was named foreign secretary — making a man not known for his diplomatic niceties the nation’s top diplomat.
May’s first speech as prime minister marked a striking departure from the typical austerity-laden rhetoric of her Conservative Party. Instead of dwelling on the deficit, the country’s second-ever female prime minister emphasized the need to fight “burning injustice,” saying she will work on behalf of the poor, women and minorities.