SOLIHULL’S politicians and business leaders have welcomed Theresa May’s appointment as Prime Minister.
The former Home Secretary stepped into David Cameron’s position on Monday (July 11) after fellow Conservative MP Andrea Leadsom withdrew from the leadership contest.
Mrs Leadsom’s dropping out of the race left the position open for Mrs May and prevented a lengthy campaign for both women vying to become the new leader of the Conservative party and Prime Minister.
Welcoming the news, Meriden MP and vocal supporter of Mrs May’s campaign, Caroline Spelman, said: “I am delighted that Britain will again have a woman Prime Minister and I am confident in Theresa’s ability to unite our country following the result of the recent EU referendum.
“A close friend and ally, I know that Theresa will have the courage to take up this role at one of the most challenging junctures in our political history.
“After all, the European Union referendum saw opinions split almost right down the middle.
“However, having already worked with our European Neighbours to tackle the issue of modern slavery and on the European Arrest Warrant, there is little doubt that our next Prime Minister is well placed to negotiate the best deal for Britain.”
Recognising Theresa May’s assertion that ‘Brexit means Brexit’, Mrs Spelman urged the new Prime Minister not to forget the 48 per cent of the country who voted for remaining in the EU and ensure the deal reached ‘works for the country as a whole’.
Solihull MP, Julian Knight, also welcomed Mrs May’s appointment.
He said: “Theresa May has held the toughest job in Government for the past six years, and is recognised as having done outstandingly well.
“This is a time for calm heads and steady nerves, and I feel confident that Mrs May is the best woman for this difficult job.
“When making my decision to support her I asked myself a very simple question: who did I want to be sat opposite Chancellor Angela Merkel, negotiating for the best interests of the UK?
“The conclusion was obvious.”
The region’s business leaders have also welcomed the news and called on the new Prime Minister to provide the ‘unity, clarity and strong leadership’ country needs in the aftermath of the EU Referendum.
Paul Faulkner, chief executive of the Greater Birmingham chambers of commerce, said while the country needed a period of stability, Mrs May had questions to answer – including on the long-term rights of nearly 200,000 EU nationals living in the West Midlands.
He added: “They, and the businesses which employ many of them, need swift confirmation of their long-term residence rights as soon as possible to end the uncertainty they are living and working in.
“In addition, we would welcome further affirmation that critical housing road, rail, energy and digital schemes, whether regional or national in scope will push ahead as planned.”