May Day: what has Theresa ever done for South Yorkshire?

Incoming Prime Minister Theresa May today becomes our country's second female leader.

Wednesday, 13th July 2016, 11:23 am
Updated Wednesday, 13th July 2016, 12:27 pm
Theresa May

Her historic move to 10 Downing Street marks a monumental moment amid parliamentary merry-go-round since Brexit.

The former Home Secretary, seen as an un-showy safe pair of hands, has survived one of government’s most difficult jobs for six years.

Flashback to 2000 with an almost unrecognisable Mrs May outside Sheffield Lydgate School

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A Bremainer, the steely politician now faces even tougher times as PM.

She is no stranger to taking strong stances. Against immigration, Police Federation and historic injustices such as Sheffield's 1989 stadium disaster.

And she became embroiled with Sheffield Hallam MP Nick Clegg, then Deputy Prime Minister, over Snoopers' Charter safeguarding of children.

As she takes up the top job, we take a timely look at the well-heeled Tory grande dame's South Yorkshire connections.

Blue to pink - Mrs May supporting Breast Cancer Campaign


December 2012 saw Mrs May announce a new police investigation into deaths of the 96 victims with liaison board established to bring together all organisations working on behalf of grieving families.

She said at the time: “I am determined to see a swift and thorough response to the findings of the Hillsborough Panel to deliver justice for the football fans who died and the families who have fought so hard on their behalf.”

She was subsequently "disappointed" by South Yorkshire Police remarks in the wake of recent inquest verdict, urging the force to recognise the jury's verdict and accept the truth.

Blue lady's red shoes - addressing Youth For Change


One of the last letters to land on the Home Secretary's desk was from cross-party coalition of MPs to demand, after damning Hillsborough verdict, a similar inquiry into alleged police brutality at a flashpoint of year-long miners' strike.

Battle of Orgreave in 1984 came to symbolise the dispute when many pickets were confronted by estimated 6,000 officers from across the UK. Police charged 95 miners following the disturbances but their trial collapsed due to unreliable evidence before South Yorkshire Police paid out £425,000 in out-of-court settlements to 39 pickets.

Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign took heart from meetings with Mrs May following disappointment Independent Police Complaints Commission decided not to probe potential officers' misconduct. Only today the watchdog confirmed it will not publish full redacted report, concluding passage of time prevents a full investigation.

Flashback to 2000 with an almost unrecognisable Mrs May outside Sheffield Lydgate School


Controversial South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner's resignation was welcomed by Mrs May. "I am pleased Shaun Wright has heeded the calls from his local community for him to resign. It is right that where people failed in their duty they should take responsibility," she said at the time.

Mrs May continued: "The police and local council failed the victims of these awful crimes. Police and Crime Commissioners are accountable to their local electorate. It is now for the people of South Yorkshire to elect someone who can provide local leadership, ensure the lessons of these dreadful cases are applied, and make sure the victims get the justice they deserve." In an October 2010 exclusive Star interview she defended the PCC position, maintaining the role had not been "tainted".

Mrs May also attacked a study by LSE University and The Guardian, claiming there was a link between riots and cuts, questioning why there were no such disturbances in Sheffield.


In a victory for Mrs May, Appeal Court judges backed her decision Dr Zakir Naik’s presence in the UK would not be "conducive to the public good". The Islamic preacher, who had been due to address Sheffield Arena, was banned from Britain after telling followers "every Muslim should be a terrorist".

Blue to pink - Mrs May supporting Breast Cancer Campaign

The Home Secretary also successfully imposed a court order on a Sheffield-born terror suspect, forced to move away under terrorism prevention measures. Referred to in court only as BM, the 39-year-old British national lost his bid to overturn a court order that banned the father-of-five travelling to Pakistan.

But a top judge quashed her order for extradition of a Sheffield student to the US to face accusations of breaking copyright law. Hallam University undergraduate Richard O’Dwyer, aged 23, allegedly earned thousands of pounds through advertising on TVShack website before it was closed down by authorities in the States, where he later surrendered.


Mrs May controversially called for all overseas students to be sent home once they graduate - despite it not being Conservative Party policy. Sheffield University Students’ Union condemned the suggestion as "disturbing" with international officer José Joaquín Díaz de Aguilar Puiggari warning one in four city students would be affected, adding "international students bring diversity, culture and learning benefits to Sheffield".

Then Conservative education spokeswoman, Mrs May addressed 2010 teachers' conference to answer a Sheffield NASUWT officer's demands parents accept more responsibility for their children's actions and city teacher's calls for stronger action against violent students.

She said at the time: "Discipline in schools has been sacrificed on the alter of political correctness by Labour. In future no school should have to take back a pupil who has attacked and injured a teacher".


Mrs May likes shoes. In fact she loves them. Her penchant for high class heels dates back to before she in 2009 supported a Sheffield bingo hall's charity footwear auction. The stylish politico's eye-catching turquoise ankle boots had pride of place in Mecca's Heels for Wheels campaign.

Blue lady's red shoes - addressing Youth For Change