What Has Theresa May Achieved?

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Before endeavouring to answer such a question, it is important to get a few things straight. Theresa May became prime minister when her party was in turmoil, following the unexpected Brexit referendum outcome and David Cameron’s surprise resignation. May took power last July following a leadership election during which many of her opponents dropped out. Whether you are a Tory supporter or not, it is important to recognise what Mrs. May has achieved in such a short amount of time.

Brexit

Given Theresa May’s decision to vote ‘Remain’ last June, the energy with which she has tackled Brexit negotiations is admirable. Most students were disappointed with the referendum outcome, myself included, but we have to make the best of a bad situation and that is what Mrs. May is trying to do. She has accepted the fate of the UK and is trying to negotiate the best deal she can while surrounded by political figures that are yet to admit to themselves that we are leaving the EU. We all laugh at “Brexit means Brexit” but all it really means is that we’ve voted to leave the EU so that’s what we actually have to do – we need a clean break.

Snap General Election

May’s decision to call an early General Election has been met with criticism, given her previous promise not to do so. However, this change of heart arguably demonstrates the Tory leader’s ability to adapt to a turbulent political climate and her dedication to making the best of Brexit.

May herself said, “The reason I called the election was because I think we need the security and the stability for five years of greater certainty that will take us through Brexit and beyond. It is about ensuring we have got a strong negotiating hand.”

A snap poll carried out by ICM illustrated that a considerable 55% of people supported May’s decision to call an election, while only 15% opposed it.

Manifesto Points

One of May’s manifesto pledges is to pass a series of laws that will ensure social media giants like Facebook and Twitter crack down on hate content.

May has also promised to offer funds, loans and new powers to both councils and housing associations to encourage the building of new social housing to help thousands of families. She will also pledge to award the new tenants the option to buy their rented property after 10 to 15 years.

Worker’s rights feature strongly in the Conservative Party’s manifesto, with the Prime Minister announcing plans to promote worker representation on company boards, increase the National Living Wage and introduce a new right to care for sick relatives full-time prior to the manifesto’s release to the public.

Respect 

One thing that has become clear lately is that both Conservative MPs and Tory supporters have faith in their party leader. May is held in high esteem by her party, which is particularly telling given the current uncertainty that the nation is facing. In fact, according to findings by ORB International, Theresa May is more popular than her party, with only 37% of people approving of the Tories, but 43% approving of the Prime Minister herself. In contrast, only 26% of the public approve of Jeremy Corbyn.

According to a YouGov survey, “British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative Party has an 18 point lead over the main opposition Labour Party ahead of a June 8 national election. The Conservatives were at 49 percent, up 3 percent from YouGov’s previous poll, against Labour’s 31 percent, up 1 percent.”

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Investigations Editor 2016/17. BA Spanish student, aspiring journalist and avid blogger (harriet-martin.com).

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