Theresa May has described how her faith in God makes her convinced she is “doing the right thing” as Prime Minister.
In a rare interview – in which she said the “hugely challenging” task of Brexit leaves her with little time for sleep – Ms May opened up about her Christian beliefs.
Speaking with the Sunday Times, the Prime Minister was asked how she steeled herself for the job and the tough decisions ahead,
She replied: “It's about, 'Are you doing the right thing?' If you know you are doing the right thing, you have the confidence, the energy to go and deliver that right message.”
Asked if that was a “moral” approach, Ms May added: “I suppose there is something in terms of faith.
“I am a practising member of the Church of England and so forth, that lies behind what I do.
“It's not like I've decided to do what I'm going to do and I'm stubborn. I'll think it through, have a gut instinct, look at the evidence, work through the arguments, because you have to think through the unintended consequences.”
In the interview, the Prime Minister admitted that it was the “really complex issues" at play in the process of leaving the EU that meant that “in this job you don't get much sleep”.
She said: “It is a moment of change. It is a hugely challenging time. And we need to get on with the deal in terms of Brexit. And I'm very conscious of that.
Theresa May in quotes
Theresa May in quotes
1/10 On being described by the former chancellor Ken Clarke as “a bloody difficult woman”:
“Politics could do with some Bloody Difficult Women actually”
2/10 On keeping secrets even from her husband:
“There are some things I am told that I am not able to confide in anybody”
3/10 On the relentless focus on her appearance during a speech at the Women in the World summit:
"I like clothes and I like shoes. One of the challenges for women in the workplace is to be ourselves and I say you can be clever and like clothes. You can have a career and like clothes”
4/10 On comparisons to Margaret Thatcher:
“I think there can only ever be one Margaret Thatcher. I’m not someone who naturally looks to role models. I’ve always, whatever job it is I’m doing at the time, given it my best shot. I put my all into it, and try to do the best job I can”
5/10 On her rebelliousness, or lack of, as a teenager:
“I probably was Goody Two Shoes at school”
6/10 On being replaced as chairman by Lord Saatchi and Liam Fox in 2003:
“Yes, it takes two men to step into the shoes of one woman”
7/10 What Theresa May said when she was asked about her political ambitions during an interview with Miriam González Durántez, a lawyer married to Nick Clegg, in December:
MD: "My very last question is: that little girl who is somewhere there, is she dreaming of becoming the next British Prime Minister?" TM: "She’s dreaming of carrying on doing a good job in the Home Office"
8/10 On not being able to have children:
“I like to keep my personal life personal. We couldn’t have children, we dealt with it and moved on. I hope nobody would think that mattered; I can still empathise, understand people and care about fairness and opportunity”
9/10 On whether she can deliver the mandate of the EU referendum:
“I think for party members and indeed for others, I would say look at my record. I think they can see that I’m somebody who gets on with the job, but I’m also somebody who says it as I see it and actually delivers on what I say”
10/10 On the equally relentless obsession with her shoes:
“As a woman I know you can be very serious about something and very soberly dressed add a little bit of interest with footwear. I always tell women ‘you have to be yourself, don’t assume you have to fit into a stereotype’ and if your personality is shown through your clothes or shoes, so be it”
"I want to make sure that everything we do ensures Britain is a country that works for everyone. And that we really get out there and forge a new role in the world post-Brexit.”
Ms May spoke about growing up as the only child of a clergyman. Her father, Hubert Brasier, was the vicar of an Oxfordshire village.
She said: “Being brought up in a vicarage, of course the advantage is that you do see people from all walks of life, and particularly in villages you see people from all sorts of backgrounds and all sorts of conditions, in terms of disadvantage and advantage.
“What came out of my upbringing was a sense of service.”
On not having any children, the Prime Minister said: “Well, that wasn't possible, so you get on with life,” adding that she has nieces and nephews and godchildren.
Ms May revealed the celebrity aspect of the job has taken her by surprise, saying: “I did do my first wedding video the other day.
“I came out of a shop onto the street and there was a smart young man and he said, 'My friends are getting married today, will you do a wedding video for them?'
“It was sort of like a selfie, but I had to say, 'Hello James and Sarah, happy wedding day!'"
She was also asked if her husband, Philip – who accompanies her frequently - found it hard being a male political consort, replying: “Well, I hope it's getting easier than it used to be.
“We don't want a situation where we feel it's really difficult to be a man if a woman happens to be prime minister.”Reuse content