Theresa May set to become prime minister and Tory Leader

Andrea Leadsom has quit the Conservative party leadership race leaving the path clear for May to enter No. 10 this Wednesday

Theresa May is set to become the new prime minister and leader of the Conservative party this Wednesday after Andrea Leadsom announced her withdrawal today, leaving May’s leadership bid uncontested.

Current prime minister David Cameron is also bringing forward his resignation to two days time to allow May to assume office as quick as possible – when she’ll become the first female prime minister since Margaret Thatcher in 1990.

In a statement released just after midday, Leadsom admitted that, while she would have been “deeply honoured” to lead the Conservative party in government, she believes “the interests of our country are best served by the immediate appointment of a strong and well supported prime minister.”

May’s impending appointment will certainly be of interest to start-ups and business owners, in 2011 she introduced a £2m mentor scheme for female entrepreneurs in a bid for them to ‘fulfil their potential”.

Previously minister for women and equality, she has also been vocal on the gender pay gap.

Having been anti-Brexit in the EU referendum, May announced this morning that there would be no second referendum saying: “Brexit means Brexit and we’re going to make a success of it.”

Among other issues discussed, the Maidenhead MP took aim at “big businesses” – hitting out at non-executive directors that fail to provide oversight in the way the businesses are run.

She said: “So if I’m prime minister, we’re going to change that system – and we’re going to have not just consumers represented on company boards, but workers as well.” She also promised to strengthen “say on pay” rules, giving shareholders more influence over how much executives are paid.

Earlier this year, May came under fire for introducing changes to the Tier 2 Visa scheme which has a direct impact on UK businesses that rely on foreign talent.

For a more in-depth account of May’s business credentials, read our guide here.

As a business owner, do you think Theresa May’s appointment as prime minister is good news for start-ups and small businesses? Share your views in the comment box below or Tweet us @startupstowers

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