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‘May Day’: How the papers reacted to our new PM-in-waiting

12 July 2016

8:06 AM

12 July 2016

8:06 AM

David Cameron is now in in his last full day in Downing Street and already all eyes are on the woman who will replace him. Theresa May is on the front of every newspaper this morning as she prepares to take over at No.10. Here’s how the papers have greeted Britain’s new PM-in-waiting:

The Daily Mail, which backed Theresa May in the Tory leadership race, relishes the prospect of her taking over from David Cameron. On its front page, the paper describes the handover as the ‘Coronation of Theresa’ – making a big show of her promise to heal rifts and make Brexit a success. Don’t expect such uncompromising praise to last though: the hard work of negotiation starts now and the Mail won’t be alone in holding May to her pledge to make Brexit work.


The Times joins others in using a picture of Theresa May being kissed by her husband Phillip on the front. The paper goes on to describe how yesterday’s rapid events in which Andrea Leadsom dropped out of the race have dramatically changed the handover period, with David Cameron said to be drawing up a list of resignation honours as he packs his bags in Downing Street. Meanwhile, the Times says May will be ‘scrambling’ to put together her Cabinet list. The paper says her first big decision is what to do with the man at No.11. It seems certain Osborne will move, the Times points out, but where to is the million dollar question. And will her longstanding rival Michael Gove get a Cabinet job? Don’t count on, the paper argues, saying the Justice Secretary is likely to be ‘fearing for his job’.


The Sun expresses its delight at Theresa May winning the race for No.10. The paper focuses on May’s famous heels – and makes a flattering comparison to Mrs Thatcher by calling the PM-in-waiting ‘Maggie May’. The paper says that she’ll imitate the first female Prime Minister by ‘whipping feuding male Cabinet colleagues into shape’.


The Metro focuses on the drama in Westminster yesterday, describing the events as ‘Another day of Mayhem!’. May is a politician known for her caution, so perhaps this is where the merry-go-round comes to a halt. But for how long?


The Mirror has a challenge for the new Prime Minister. The paper leads on May’s own call on Gordon Brown to hold a snap election after he took over from Tony Blair. ‘An early election? Bring it on…’, the paper says. But it’s unlikely that with the Labour party in such a mess that many in the opposition will agree with that thinking.


Meanwhile, in the Daily Express the emphasis is already on the hard work facing Mrs May. The paper, which backed Brexit, sends a message to the Prime Minister in waiting urging her to stick to her promise to remove Britain from the EU. May has repeatedly insisted that ‘Brexit means Brexit’: the Express calls on her to act quickly as soon as she takes over at No.10 tomorrow afternoon. May’s key ally Chris Grayling has earlier suggested she would trigger Article 50 by the end of the year. Whether that is soon enough for the Express remains to be seen.


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