Sometimes she was nicknamed the timid iron lady, amazed with her choice of extravagant shoes, and became famous with a legendary dance. We are talking about Therese May, who has finished as a British Prime Minister. A strong politician is leaving, for whom the party was as important as a family. A failed Brexit is what broke her neck.
Theresa May, 62, was the head of the British government for exactly three years. Now she finishes not only as the prime minister, but also as the head of the Conservative Party, which played a crucial role in her life. Party value principles are deeply rooted in her and she has always been willing to sacrifice her own comforts and benefits for the good of the party.
The fact that she took her party seriously and believed in its strength is reflected in one of their famous statements: “Many people want a show rather than a political party. But then, at the elections, these people think that a man disguised as a monkey will fulfil his election promises better than an ordinary party.”
Her parents were already supporters of the Conservatives, and she worked her way from the ordinary member to the top. In her youth, she briefly devoted herself to finance, but since the mid-1990s, politics has become a life to which she has subordinated everything. This was also due to the fact that she and her husband Philip had failed to have children.
The lover of TV crime shows and cooking was also famous for her extravagant shoes. Some experts even talk about the "Theresa May effect", which refers to women being more courageous to buy unusual and colorful shoes. Television commentators have often spoken of her "plankiness" and her behaviour, which resembles the movements of a robot. She attracted the attention of the whole Europe also with her peculiar dance presented at the Conservative conference last fall.
There she defended her already weakened position of leader, mainly due to protracted negotiations on Britain's withdrawal from the EU. It was Brexit that eventually broke her neck, it was a purely ideological and party issue for her - she wanted to fulfil the promise the party had made, even though it caused waves of contradictory reactions and a crazy political theatre in the British parliament. Still, she stood by her words uncompromisingly and repeated: "I said clearly that Brexit means Brexit."
Theresa May is a strong woman who in many ways followed the steps of her 1980s predecessor, Margaret Thatcher († 87). Both have shown that politics is not just the domain of men, and that women are able to conduct tough negotiations and make controversial decisions. “Someone must finally say that what the government does is not a game. It's a serious thing that has real consequences for people's lives,” May said some time ago.
Europe is losing a strong politician, at a time when it is increasingly being discussed whether there should be more women in top politics. And if it is necessary to support it with various quotas.
Not only May's story shows that female politicians are getting bolder. Earlier, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has proved it. Ursula von der Leyen (60) - a German politician who has seven children with her husband and yet has managed to build a career - is now heading the EU's top body. French superpolitician Christine Lagarde (63) is the head of the European Central Bank and Zuzana Čaputová (46) became president of Slovakia this year.