UK Politics

Theresa May? I beat 'Terri' to role of prime minister

Roz (centre) celebrates being PM whilst 'Terri' May smiles on (picture right) Image copyright Oxford Times / Bill Radford
Image caption Roz (centre) celebrates being prime minister, while "Terri" May - then Brasier - smiles on (right)

Rosalind Hicks-Greene's claim to fame just got a whole lot bigger - she explains how she beat Theresa May to the post of prime minister, in a mock election at Holton Park Girls' Grammar School, in Oxfordshire, in March 1974.

I can see it is being reported that her political career began stuffing envelopes at her local Conservative club - but I can say it started at the school's own elections.

Theresa had been moved up a year as she was terribly bright and studious.

The person you see on television now is just a grown-up version of her 17-year-old self.

We were not in the same circle of friends - but we did history A-level together, and she would always be the one who would go away and read up on things in advance.

Mellowed

Our history teacher, John Montgomery, came up with the idea of holding a mock election and appealed to us to stand.

I stood for the Liberals, Theresa for the Conservatives and Val for Labour.

We had to stand up in assembly and give our speech.

It was not hard to beat Theresa as she was not very charismatic.

In fact, I gave a speech using a lot of the values - old Liberal values - which she has been espousing over the last couple of days in her speeches.

Back then, she was very much an old-school Conservative - she has mellowed with age.

And she smiles a lot more now.

It is lovely to see her smile.

Image copyright Getty/BBC
Image caption Roz and Theresa as "grown-ups"

She was happy for us to shorten her name to Terri too.

I have not heard anyone call her Terri as an adult.

I think she called herself that at school so as to be an approachable person.

Debating

I think she is going to be a tenacious negotiator.

She stands her ground.

She will definitely be a good match for people like Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande, having listened to her debating with our history teacher.

She will be a tremendously strong leader at a time this country needs it.

At school, I thought she might go into politics, but I thought she was more likely to be a university lecturer - perhaps something more mainstream than prime minister.

I also thought she would have made a very good local councillor.

But she has clearly gone beyond that now.

Leading

I myself stood again, as a Liberal Democrat for the district council in 2003.

Perhaps rather ironically though, I lost out out to a Conservative candidate.

I am very pleased Theresa is leading the country.

She will do a great job and be a very safe pair of hands.

I am filled with pride.

And I am the only person in this country who can say with absolute certainty that they beat Theresa May to the post of prime minister.

By Patrick Evans and Francesca Neagle, BBC's UGC and Social News team

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