#DPLeaders: Strong And Stable? 5 Of Theresa May's Biggest U-Turns


Written by Dont Panic
12 Friday 12th May 2017

Even though she tries to cast herself as something of an Iron Lady, Theresa May has made u-turns on a host of decisions, whether it's to grab power, appease the public or curry favour with the Chinese government. Here's some of the most egregious examples...

Calling an election

This one is pretty straightforward...

Hinkley Point C

A couple of years ago, David Cameron and George Osborne announced Hinkley Point C, a new nuclear power station to be built in the south west in a joint venture between Chinese and French state energy companies. The proposal has been mired in controversy, with protestors opposed to a new nuclear power station after the Fukushima disaster, the exorbitant prices consumers will be paying and fears over national security with Chinese involvement in essential utilities. In July last year, new prime minister May announced a pause on the scheme, but it has since gone ahead on very similar terms to the deal proposed by Cameron and Osborne.

Remaining in the EU

In a leaked speech to Goldman Sachs, May was an unequivocal supporter of remaining in the European Union for a number of reasons. Economics; “I think being part of a 500m trading bloc is significant for us. I think one of the issues is a lot of people invest here in the UK because it’s the UK in Europe.” British unionism; “I do not want the European Union to cause the destruction of an older and much more precious Union, the Union between England and Scotland.” Trade; "While we could certainly negotiate our own trade agreements, there would be no guarantee that they would be on terms as good as we enjoy now." Now we have a prime minister who coined 'Brexit means Brexit'. 

Immigration vans

In 2013, then-home secretary May sent two vans bearing the message "Go home or face arrest" around six London boroughs, the intention being to create a hostile atmosphere for undocumented immigrants. However, there was a widespread outcry towards the vans, with then-shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper decrying May as using the "language of the National Front" and even Nigel Farage criticising the actions. May later scrapped the vans, which were due to be rolled out on a larger scale.

Northern Powerhouse

The Northern Powerhouse is former chancellor George Osborne's pet project. It encompasses a series of policies focussed on transport, devolution and science and innovation in area like Manchester, Liverpool, Sheffield, Leeds and Newcastle, in order to increase prosperity outside of London. In August last year, it was reported that May had told cabinet colleagues she intended to broaden the plan's scope and instead create a British Powerhouse, which entailed ditching manifesto promises aimed at the north. However, in January 2017 May reaffirmed her commitment to Osborne's project with £556 millon for projects centred around science, manufactuing and the creative industries.

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