A new Prime Minister
BY wangxingwei from 21st Century
Published 2016-07-14


A *clergyman’s daughter known for her calm, common-sense *demeanor has emerged from the unholy political *scrum that erupted after the “Brexit” referendum, poised to become Britain’s prime minister.

Theresa May, who since 2010 has served as Britain’s home secretary, is to assume the top job on July 13. That was much earlier than expected. When Prime Minister David Cameron announced that he would step aside following the June 23 Brexit vote, people thought the transition of power would be months long.

But then May’s principal rival, junior government minister Andrea Leadsom, abruptly withdrew on July 11 from a two-woman contest for the leadership of the governing Conservative party and, by extension, the prime minister’s post.

“So we will have a new prime minister in that building behind me by Wednesday evening,” Cameron said, gesturing toward 10 Downing Street in London, the government’s headquarters and prime minister’s residence.

It’s the latest chapter in the breakup drama known as Brexit. When 52 percent of the British *populace voted to leave the European Union, the country was left in apparent shock. The full *repercussions of the decision remain *perilously unclear.

The results *rattled markets worldwide. Economists warned that splitting from the EU could undermine London’s status as a financial capital and tip the country into a recession. It could also fuel separatist *sentiment in Scotland, which strongly supported staying in the EU.

May, 59, who had offered low-key backing to the “Remain” camp, offered assurances that she would not seek to defy voters’ wishes and reverse the outcome. The referendum, technically, was advisory, and it will fall to the country’s new leader to formally set the pullout mechanism in motion.

“Brexit means Brexit, and we’re going to make a success of it,” May said.

The incoming prime minister, who is Oxford-educated but has held herself largely apart from the clubby old-boys network of the British political world, is widely regarded as an experienced and steady hand, if not an overly *charismatic figure.

Cameron offered May his full support, as did her *erstwhile rival, Leadsom. So did leading “Leave” supporter Boris Johnson, a former London mayor who had originally been considered a front-runner to succeed Cameron.

And so did Johnson’s onetime loyal second, Justice Minister Michael Gove, who, in what was described by the British press as an act of Shakespearean *villainy, leaped unexpectedly into the race for the Conservative leadership, driving Johnson out. Gove was knocked out of the running after May and Leadsom *garnered more support from within the party.

May is only the second woman to serve as prime minister, after Margaret Thatcher’s turn at 10 Downing a generation ago as the “Iron Lady”. She is widely perceived as not lacking in steel herself.

“She’s been around – she’s an experienced negotiator and experienced minister,” said Frances G. Burwell, a vice president and European analyst at the Atlantic Council. “I think we’ll see her trying to build a consensus. Whether she succeeds is something else.”

(Translator & Editor: Wang Xingwei AND Luo Sitian)
Clergyman  牧师
Demeanor  行为举止
Scrum  争夺
Populace  平民百姓
Repercussion  反响
Perilously  危险地
Rattle  使紧张
Sentiment  感情,情绪
Charismatic  魅力非凡的
Erstwhile  过去的
Villainy  罪恶
Garner  获得


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