Mrs. May says that Public Service has been a part of who she is since as early as she can remember. She wears hot shoes and her husband wears funky spectacles. They have been married for over thirty years. She was not a character named in the expenses scandal. She is not a gossip, does not drink in any of the bars at the House of Commons, and she’s widely respected in her Party, among the nation and internationally.
Mrs. May has had a stormy relationship with the Police Federation, who now view her with deep mistrust after she reformed policing, cut jobs, and according to many is responsible for “putting police lives in danger”. Mrs. May went personally to Jordan to negotiate the permanent removal of Abu Qatada, whom she stated: “posed a serious threat to Britain’s security”.
In safe hands
It is Thursday 14 July 2016 and Mrs. May’s first full day in the Office of the Prime Minister. What is the first thing she will have dealt with this morning? First, are matters of constitutional protocol and homeland security: she will have met him before – but the Chief of Staff (Edward Llewellyn), responsible for leading and coordinating operations across Number 10, reporting directly to the PM, will have seen her first thing. There are things to agree and things Mrs. May must do before she can begin work.
We don’t hear so often about Llewellyn, but his job is to:
- Select key Downing Street staff and supervise them
- Structure the Downing Street staff system
- Control the flow of people into the PM’s office
- Manage the information flow for the PM
- Protect her interests
Mrs. May will have been briefed about what Trident can actually do (apparently ex-PM Tony Blair was “very quiet” for the rest of the day when briefed) and about other confidential matters to which only the PM (and her chosen Deputy) is privy. She will have been instructed to begin a series of hand-written letters to other heads of state, which will be put away until times of crisis, such as declaring war, for example.
Mr. Cameron’s versions of these letters, written when he first arrived at No. 10, will be destroyed. She will have been asked to assign a Deputy, someone, in whom she trusts, should she be unable to lead the country.
Mrs. May will have received tweets, texts, and phone calls as well as many letters congratulating her on her new appointment. She will also have had many, many phone calls to make and incoming calls on matters of state as well.
A Busy day at the Office, then …
You can say that again. The Prime Minister has appointed some of the top people for the top roles in her Cabinet, but there are still appointments to fill. Angela Rudd has a very important role in Mrs. May’s old job as Home Secretary. Having sacked ex-Chancellor George Osborne, Phillip Hammond is now Chancellor of the Exchequer.
A historical decision was taken by British people. Brexit will make Impact on Europe’s Financial Industry. Boris Johnson has been given a top job in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, but maybe all is not as it seems. Here, some might see evidence of both Mrs. May’s talent as a strategist as well as her belief (maybe) that all our actions have consequences. She has sandwiched Boris between David Davis, who is now in charge of a new governmental department – the Ministry of Brexit – and Liam Fox, in charge of negotiating Trade. Is she telling Boris and his colleagues, you wanted this, now sort it out; go on then get started! Some state: “Boris will not have a role in Brexit”; but Boris has already played a major role in Brexit, so maybe this is the PM giving Boris the chance to show how all the waffle, learning, intelligence and charm can be turned into something concrete and beneficial for the UK as well as for the rest of the world.
Two Powerful Women and only one Queen of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, and Head of the Commonwealth
One of Mrs. May’s most difficult jobs (apart from the prospect of a recession, negotiating Brexit, UK security concerns, Junior Doctors, to name only some …) will be negotiating with her counterpart in Scotland. Negotiating with Nicola Sturgeon Scotland’s First Minister will be a difficult job. I wonder if when Mrs. May was sworn is as UK PM by Her Majesty the Queen if Her Majesty pleaded “Please Prime Minister make sure you hold the United Kingdom together.”
In the midst of all this … a man or woman arrives with a bag of tools
As if the matter of picture hanging cannot wait, today, according to tradition, a new photograph will be hanging on the wall in the upstairs landing of No. 10. A photograph of David Cameron will join other recent ex-PMs, Margaret Thatcher, John Major, and Tony Blair. The past will be there to remind Mrs. May of the legacy of her predecessors and that Europe has a way of destroying governments.
Mrs. May Welcome
PM Theresa May we all wish you luck as you try to unite the nation, your Party, Europe and the rest of the world. The UK’s economic wellbeing and social and economic stability are in your hands. Some argue that UK European Policy has been underfunded for decades, that there was insufficient investment. We hope that as you prepare to trigger Article 50 that Mr. Hammond will help you find the money needed to invest wholeheartedly in the Mandate Process to get the best deal for the UK’s Brexit. Good luck.