Born in October 1956 in Eastbourne, Sussex, Theresa May graduated in Geography from Oxford University, where she was introduced to her husband, a banker, by Benazir Bhutto. She started her career at the Bank of England and then in the Association for Payment Clearing Services.
Her political career began with the London Borough of Merton, Dunsford Ward, where she was a councillor and after some unsuccessful attempts to become a Member of Parliament in 1992 and 1994, she was elected as the Conservative Member for Maidenhead in 1997 and has been their MP since then.
She identifies herself as a One-Nation Conservative and belongs to the Liberal Conservative camp. She had a long apprenticeship in the shadow cabinets of the Conservative Party during Labour's tenure under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, as Shadow spokesperson for Schools, Disabled People and Women, Shadow Education and Employment Secretary, Shadow Transport Secretary, Shadow Secretary for Culture, Media and Sport, Chair of the Conservative Party, Shadow Leader of the House of Commons and Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary before entering government in 2010 as Home Secretary (to date) and Minister for Women and Equalities (2010-2012).
As Home Secretary, she ditched the Labour Government's plan for a national identity card and suspended the necessary registration process for carers of children and vulnerable persons. She also slashed the Home Office budget, cutting numbers of police officers and took a tough line on the Summer protests in 2011. She fought against police corruption and called for an enquiry into institutional child abuse, while also challenging the use of stop-and-search practices by the police, often based upon racial profiling. She has also been associated with a secret deal signed with Saudia Arabia to run the prisons in that country and took a controversial stance over the right of LGBT persons to adopt but later changed her mind, consenting also to same-sex marriage.
An anti-Brexit sympathizer rather than front-line campaigner, Theresa May has since said she will go ahead with the divorce from the European Union. In May, she voted to releal the Human Rights Act, claiming it limited the powers of the Government. As regards foreign policy, she is definitely a hawk, having supported the war in Iraq and voting for deploying British troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria.
*Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey has worked as a correspondent, journalist, deputy editor, editor, chief editor, director, project manager, executive director, partner and owner of printed and online daily, weekly, monthly and yearly publications, TV stations and media groups printed, aired and distributed in Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, East Timor, Guinea-Bissau, Portugal, Mozambique and São Tomé and Principe Isles; the Russian Foreign Ministry publication Dialog and the Cuban Foreign Ministry Official Publications. He has spent the last two decades in humanitarian projects, connecting communities, working to document and catalog disappearing languages, cultures, traditions, working to network with the LGBT communities helping to set up shelters for abused or frightened victims and as Media Partner with UN Women, working to foster the UN Women project to fight against gender violence and to strive for an end to sexism, racism and homophobia. A Vegan, he is also a Media Partner of Humane Society International, fighting for animal rights. He is Director and Chief Editor of the Portuguese version of Pravda.Ru.