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Full text: Theresa May’s ‘Politician of the year’ acceptance speech

3 November 2016

9:22 AM

3 November 2016

9:22 AM

Oh come on, we’re all builders now. Thank you very much indeed and it’s a great pleasure to receive this award. I am particularly pleased to receive the award from George, because I gather when it came to the voting it actually got very tight and I owe it to George – he just nudged me over the line because he told all the other members of the jury that if they didn’t vote for me, the economy would collapse and world war three would start.

I feel I just have to make a comment or an intervention on a previous speech: Boris, the dog was put down, when it’s master decided it wasn’t needed any more.


I have to say… the new job is very interesting, there’s a lot to do but I am discovering some side effects of it. Many of you will know I was rather known as Home Secretary for assiduously reading every paper in my red box. Now I don’t have to, I just read the Times. But it is very great to see you all here tonight. I am particularly pleased to see Craig Oliver is here tonight. Sorry, ‘Sir’ Craig is here tonight. I have to say, I understand that in his book about the referendum campaign, Craig says that when he heard the result of the referendum, he walked out of the office, he walked into Whitehall and he started retching violently. I have to say, I think we all know that feeling, most of us experienced it too when we saw his name on the resignation honours list.

But seriously, ladies and gentleman, it’s a great pleasure to receive this award. Thank you very much to the Spectator – a magazine which is going from strength to strength under your editorship, Fraser.

It has certainly, as you have said, been a momentous year in politics. Few people would have expected the turbulent times that we have seen. And what we have seen this year is that politics can be fast-moving, unpredictable but also it can be occasionally brutal. And I think we should remember that nobody would have thought, at the beginning of this year that coming up to the end of 2016, David Cameron would not only not be in office but wouldn’t even be in Parliament. And I think we should remember a man who has changed the face of our politics over the last decade. We owe him a great thank you for all that he did for our country, and I hope that, as you imbibe just the odd glass as you carry on enjoying the evening, will perhaps raise a glass to David and a glass to all the award winners tonight.

This is a transcript of the Prime Minister’s acceptance speech for ‘Politician of the year’ at the Spectator Parliamentarian Awards


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