Theresa May: Challenges ahead for new PM

Theresa May outside No 10 Image copyright EPA
Image caption Theresa May outside No 10

Sometimes politicians find their moment. Sometimes, the moment finds them. In a time of upheaval a new leader emerges whose trademark is calm. But without the contest she'd long planned for and time to take stock, Theresa May moves into Downing Street.

A politician who had long harboured a desire for the biggest job but is known for caution, her ambition was assumed rather than widely shared.

And the new prime minister inherits a context that's been transformed in less than a month. A rapidly changing environment that could flummox even those who thrive on living moment to moment.

Theresa May, in contrast, is famed for taking her time, demanding detail before decisions, but then standing firm. And while the vestiges of her predecessor have been swept away in days, the big political framework has not bent.

The economy is stuttering, our place in the world is unclear. And her plans to confront any of the country's problems, or introduce her own ideas, must vault the hurdle of a tiny Commons majority. That margin of only a dozen caused David Cameron and George Osborne to change or ditch many of their plans.

And a stubborn, larger group of Tory MPs fiercely committed to leaving the EU, may prove willing to work together to make life hard if her plans are not to their taste.

Theresa May's party is divided, the country is divided on the EU. Holding onto the Home Office for six years will be nothing compared to what's next.

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