Friday 30 September 2016

Theresa May vows to govern for all not just 'privileged few' - New PM's speech in full

Published 13/07/2016 | 18:33

Staff clap as new Prime Minister Theresa May walks into 10 Downing Street, London, after meeting Queen Elizabeth II and accepting her invitation to become Prime Minister and form a new government Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
Staff clap as new Prime Minister Theresa May walks into 10 Downing Street, London, after meeting Queen Elizabeth II and accepting her invitation to become Prime Minister and form a new government Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

"I have just been to Buckingham Palace where Her Majesty the Queen has asked me to form a new Government and I accepted.

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"In David Cameron I follow in the footsteps of a great modern Prime Minister.

"Under David's leadership the Government stabilised the economy, reduced the budget deficit and helped more people into work than ever before.

"But David's true legacy is not about the economy but about social justice.

"From the introduction of same sex marriage to taking people on low wages out of income tax altogether, David Cameron has led a One Nation government and it is in that spirit that I also plan to lead.

"Because not everybody knows this but the full title of my party is the Conservative and Unionist Party and that word unionist is very important to me.

"It means we believe in the union, the precious, precious bond between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland - but it means something else that is just as important.

"It means we believe in a union not just between the nations of the United Kingdom but between all of our citizens - every one of us - whoever we are and wherever we're from.

"That means fighting against the burning injustice that if you're born poor you will die on average nine years earlier than others.

"If you're black you are treated more harshly by the criminal justice system than if you're white.

"If you're a white working class boy you're less likely than anybody else in Britain to go to university.

"If you're at a state school you're less likely to reach the top professions than if you're educated privately.

"If you're a woman you will earn less than a man.

"If you suffer from mental health problems, there's not enough help to hand.

"If you're young you will find it harder than ever before to own your own home.

"But the mission to make Britain a country that works for everyone means more than fighting these injustices. If you're from an ordinary working class family, life is much harder than many people in Westminster realise."

"You have a job, but you don't always have job security. You have your own home but you worry about paying the mortgage.

"You can just about manage, but you worry about the cost of living and getting your kids into a good school.

"If you are one of those families, if you're just managing, I want to address you directly. I know you are working around the clock, I know you're doing your best and I know that sometimes life can be a struggle.

"The Government I lead will be driven, not by the interests of the privileged few but by yours. We will do everything we can to give you more control over your lives.

"When we take the big calls we will think not of the powerful, but you. When we pass new laws we will listen not to the mighty, but to you.

"When it comes to taxes we will prioritise not the wealthy, but you. When it comes to opportunity we won't entrench the advantages of the fortunate few, we will do everything we can to help anybody, whatever your background, to go as far as your talents will take you.

"We are living through an important moment in our country's history.

"Following the referendum, we face a time of great national change. And I know because we're Great Britain we will rise to the challenge.

"As we leave the European Union we will forge a bold new positive role for ourselves in the world and we will make Britain a country that works not for a privileged few but for every one of us.

"That will be the mission of the Government I lead and together we will build a better Britain."

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