Theresa May spent three years as prime minister trying — and failing — to do three things: deliver Brexit, unite her party and convince Brits that she had a personality.
Since leaving office and returning to the House of Commons as a backbench MP, May has found the key to the latter is to make her voice heard when she disagrees with Boris Johnson’s government — and to make faces when Michael Gove is talking.
After initially keeping a low profile, May has found her tongue as the coronavirus pandemic progressed.
From measured criticism to outright ridicule, POLITICO looks at six times the former prime minister has given No. 10 a headache.
Rishi Sunak’s first budget, March
When new Chancellor Rishi Sunak pledged mass infrastructure spending alongside £30bn to protect the economy from coronavirus, it was welcomed by most of the Tory rank and file.
She told the Commons that “although spending a lot of money may be popular” the government has to ensure it has “the restraint and caution that enables us to make the public finances continue to be strong in the future.”
Her measured intervention was intended as a warning rather than an attack — stronger stuff was to come.
Coronavirus quarantine plans, June
A hastily put together quarantine plan prompted a more open attack from May.
The government’s introduction of a 14-day quarantine for overseas arrivals sparked a small rebellion in the Tory party, as MPs reacted angrily to the potential shut down of Britain’s tourism industry.
May was among them, openly criticizing the government for “bringing in measures to close Britain off from the rest of the world.”
Her and other MPs’ concern was eventually heeded by the government,