Ministerial role

Prime Minister


The Prime Minister is the leader of Her Majesty’s Government and is ultimately responsible for the policy and decisions of the government.

As leader of the UK government the Prime Minister also:

  • oversees the operation of the Civil Service and government agencies
  • appoints members of the government
  • is the principal government figure in the House of Commons

Current role holder: The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

Theresa May became Prime Minister on 13 July 2016. Theresa served as Home Secretary from May 2010 until July 2016. She was elected Conservative MP for Maidenhead in May 1997.


Theresa had a varied education, spanning both the state and private sectors and attending both grammar school and comprehensive school. She studied geography at St Hugh’s College, Oxford University.

Political career

Theresa has been involved in politics at all levels for many years, beginning by stuffing envelopes at her local Conservative association before going on to be a councillor in the London borough of Merton from 1986 to 1994. During her time at Merton, Theresa was Chair of Education from 1988 to 1990 and Deputy Group Leader and Housing Spokesperson from 1992 to 1994.

Theresa was elected MP for Maidenhead in May 1997, after which she held several shadow positions, including:

  • Shadow Secretary of State for Education and Employment 1999 to 2001
  • Shadow Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions 2001 to 2002
  • Shadow Secretary of State for the Family 2004 to 2005
  • Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport 2005
  • Shadow Leader of the House of Commons 2005 to 2009
  • Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Women and Equalities 2010 to 2012

Theresa served as Home Secretary from May 2010 until July 2016.

Career outside politics

After starting her career at the Bank of England, Theresa went on to the Association for Payment Clearing Services, firstly as Head of the European affairs unit from 1989 to 1996 and then as Senior Adviser on international affairs from 1996 to 1997.

Previous holders of this role

Find out more about previous holders of this role in our past Prime Ministers section.


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  1. PM's statement at Downing Street: 16 January 2019

    • Speech
  2. PM statement to the House: 16 January 2019

    • Speech
  3. PM statement to the House of Commons: 15 January 2019

    • Speech
  4. PM statement in the House of Commons: 14 January 2018

    • Speech
  5. Natural History Museum Reappointments

    • News story
  6. PM's Brexit speech in Stoke-on-Trent: 14 January 2019

    • Speech
  7. PM statement alongside PM Shinzo Abe of Japan: 10 January 2019

    • Speech
  8. UK and Japan forge new alliance to shape 21st Century

    • Press release
  9. Trustee Appointed to the Royal Museums Greenwich

    • News story
  10. Preferred Candidate Selected for the role of Comptroller and Auditor General

    • Press release