Britain will get its second female PM after runofff vote
2016-07-08 14:52:00

 

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Britain is to have its second ever female prime minister after MPs (members of the parliament) Thursday narrowed the Conservative leadership battle to a final two.

Home Secretary Theresa May launches her leadership campaign in London, Britain, June 30, 2016. Five contenders emerged Thursday in the race to become the next prime minister of Britain following David Cameron

Home Secretary Theresa May launches her leadership campaign in London, Britain, June 30, 2016. Five contenders emerged Thursday in the race to become the next prime minister of Britain following David Cameron's decision to quit. (Xinhua)

Home Secretary Theresa May, responsible for Britain's interior matters, and Energy and Climate Change Minister Andrea Leadsom emerged as the final two contenders after Justice Secretary Michael Gove was eliminated by a vote of MPs at Westminster.

May won votes from 199 Conservative MPs, Leadsom got 84 and Gove, with 46 votes, was eliminated from the leadership contest.

It will now be up to the 150,000 Conservative Party members around the country to decide which of the two should replace David Cameron as leader and Prime Minister.

The winner will be announced on Sept. 9, handing the keys of 10 Downing Street to a woman occupant since 1979 when Margaret Thatcher became the country's first ever female prime minister.

The winner of the race to Downing Street will face the major task of negotiating Britain's exit from the European Union after 43 years following the June 23 national referendum which delivered a Brexit victory by a 52 percent-48 percent margin.

One of the first crucial decisions for the new prime minister will be when Britain will trigger article 50, the procedure that will start a two-year clock ticking on the final divorce with the EU. Leadsom says she would push the article 50 button as soon as she becomes prime minister. May says she would not push the button to take Britain out of the EU before the end of 2016, to give time to finalise a negotiating stance.

May, who turns 60 this October, was educated at a state comprehensive school and later at Oxford University. She is one of the longest serving home secretaries in British history, regarded politically as a tough operator at Westminster.

Before becoming a politician she worked at the Bank of England. She was first elected as a Conservative MP for Maidenhead in 1997, the year Tony Blair won a landslide victory sweeping Labour to power.

The daughter of a clergyman, May is married, meeting her future husband Philip at university. They do not have any children. Three years ago May revealed she has type 1 diabetes.

Leadsom, who is 53, went to a girls' grammar school and then to Warwick University where she read political science. She was brought up in humble surroundings by a divorced mum, living in a modest terraced house in Hertfordshire with an outdoor toilet in the backyard. She is married with three children, a daughter and two sons.

Before entering politics, Leadsom had a long career on the trading floors of the City of London and as a Barclays investment banker. She entered Parliament in 2010 as MP for South Northamptonshire, achieving an ambition she first spoke about at the age of 13. Although she became a government minister, she never made the top table as a secretary of state, unlike her opponent.

Source:cctv.com Editor:Dylan