UK and international media react to Theresa May appointment

The Guardian, The New York Times and more on the appointment of new PM


It has been a whirlwind few weeks in British politics; Brexit, Cameron’s resignation, Boris Johnson dropping out of the election for Conservative leader and and mum being the word on the best person to take over as prime minister. 

Yesterday saw an end to the Conservative Party’s leadership race with home secretary Theresa May launching what she expected to be more than a month long campaign, only to learn a few hours later that she would be getting the keys to Number 10 Downing Street on Wednesday.

Here is how some of the UK and international papers covered Tuesday’s events.

The Guardian – Sketch: Boris? Michael? Andrea? Theresa rules the roost after manic Monday
“Just another manic Monday. Little more than a day after receiving a text from Andrea Leadsom saying: “Soz I sed u wld b rubbish leedr cos u is not a mum,” Theresa May walked into a meeting of the 1922 Committee in Portcullis House to be anointed as the next prime minister. Ten minutes later she left to a standing ovation from Conservative MPs trying to outcompete one another in expressions of undying devotion. Boris who? Michael who? Andrea who?”

The Times – News (Subscription required): Race to pick new cabinet as May gets keys to No 10
“Boris Johnson was said by friends to expect little from Mrs May despite receiving a text message of commiserations from the home secretary after Michael Gove’s decision to drop his support and stand himself.
Mr Gove, the justice secretary and the minister with whom she has most frequently and spectacularly clashed in the past six years, must also fear for his future in the cabinet.”

The Sun – News: Heel, boys
“Theresa May yesterday vowed to heal the Tory rift as she delivers the public’s demand for Brexit - after she was crowned Prime Minister in waiting.
She is expected to whip feuding male Cabinet colleagues into line in the no-nonsense style of Maggie Thatcher. Mrs May, wearing her famous kitten-heeled leopard print shoes, said: “Brexit means Brexit - and we’re going to make a success of it.”

The Daily Mail –Opinion: What a relief! We have a new PM worthy of the office - and she wasn’t in the Bullingdon Club and doesn’t live in Notting Hill
“Across much of Britain, and especially among the young, there is a rage that they are governed by a privileged elite, blithely ignorant of life in, for example, Coventry or Sunderland.
Even though Mrs May went to Oxford University, she is a grammar school girl from relatively modest origins, attached to neither a Notting Hill nor Chipping Norton set. Whatever other suitcases she takes into Downing Street, she will carry no social baggage.”

Daily Express – News: Message to our new Prime Minister: Theresa May - make sure you get us out of the EU
“She can also expect sustained pressure from the continuing Daily Express crusade for Britain to quit the EU, which has been credited with a massive role in last month’s referendum vote in favour of Brexit. Standing outside Parliament with jubilant supporters yesterday, Mrs May promised that leaving the EU will be her top task.”

The Scotsman – Opinion: May must lead, unify and leave the ballot box alone
“Ms May must show strong leadership when it comes to getting on with bringing the country back together and dealing with the economic and political fallout from the referendum. The fact is that under our system parties pick their leaders and therefore the winning party picks the prime minister. There is no need for her to go to the country to seek her own mandate. The last thing Britain needs at this point is to be immersed in the uncertainty of a general election.”

New York Times – News: Theresa May is poised to be Britain’s next prime minister
“Ms May, until now Britain’s home secretary, is set to take over at a time of immense upheaval. The nation must not only negotiate its withdrawal from the European Union, a process fraught with economic and political risks, but it must also hold itself together amid a renewed clamour from Scotland for independence. Early signs are that Britain’s economy has already taken a substantial hit from the exit vote, or “Brexit.”

Washington Post – News: Theresa May to become British prime minister in fast-track political transition
“The topsy-turvy politics of Britain’s endlessly unpredictable summer took another stunning twist on Monday, with the selection by default of a prime minister who had advocated staying in the European Union but will now come under immediate pressure to fulfill her promise to lead the nation’s exit.
Theresa May, the hard-charging home affairs secretary, was elevated to Britain’s top job when the woman who was to spend the summer campaigning against her, Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom, preemptively dropped out of the contest to succeed outgoing leader David Cameron.”