Editorials 20.4.2017 05:21 am

May’s bold move setting Britain up for a bitter election battle

AFP / Daniel Leal-Olivas<br />Britain's new Conservative Party leader Theresa May speaks to members of the media at The St Stephen's entrance to the Palace of Westminster in London, on July 11, 2016

AFP / Daniel Leal-Olivas
Britain's new Conservative Party leader Theresa May speaks to members of the media at The St Stephen's entrance to the Palace of Westminster in London, on July 11, 2016

An enlarged majority would greatly strengthen the Prime Minister’s hand in the arduous Brexit negotiations which still lie ahead.

British Prime Minister Theresa May has embarked on a political gamble which could ensure her a place in the history books whichever way the snap election in June she called this week pans out.

May, who was installed at No 10 Downing Street after David Cameron’s failure to sway the nation to remain in the European Union during the national referendum, has many of the hallmarks of the United Kingdom’s first female prime minister, Margaret Thatcher, without the abrasiveness which marked the late Baroness Thatcher’s stint in the hot seat of British politics.

Certainly, May has shown a similar inner steel and despite her earlier personal misgivings about cutting the umbilical cord with Brussels, has steadfastly gone with the voice of the electorate.

Unlike Thatcher, May was not installed in a general election, something she means to put right when she goes to the polls looking to enhance the slim 17-seat majority the Conservative Party she leads currently holds in the Commons at the Palace of Westminster.

An enlarged majority would greatly strengthen May’s hand in the arduous Brexit negotiations which still lie ahead. What the prime minister risks is widening the bitter divides among the Tories, but clearly a bitter battle lies ahead.

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