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Friday, Sep 20, 2019

Former British PM May prefers cricket to Boris Johnson in parliament

May and her ministers who did not find a place in the Johnson government were conspicuous by their absence in parliament. Those who survived the cull include Sajid Javid, who was appointed chancellor, and Amber Rudd, who stays as minister for women and equalities.

world Updated: Jul 25, 2019 19:44 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Prasun Sonwalkar
Hindustan Times, London
Former British PM Theresa May with England’s World Cup winning cricket team at 10 Downing Street.
Former British PM Theresa May with England’s World Cup winning cricket team at 10 Downing Street.(REUTERS PHOTO.)
         

Appearing relaxed after being relieved of prime ministerial duties, former British PM Theresa May on Thursday preferred to be at Lord’s for the England-Ireland Test, while her successor, Boris Johnson, spent his first day jousting with MPs in the House of Commons.

May and her ministers who did not find a place in the Johnson government were conspicuous by their absence in parliament. Those who survived the cull include Sajid Javid, who was appointed chancellor, and Amber Rudd, who stays as minister for women and equalities.

May was spotted enjoying a day of cricket on an unusually hot and sunny day with former business secretary Greg Clark and justice secretary David Gauke by her side. Johnson paid tribute to her in the House but she was not present.

May and her husband Philip are known for their love of cricket. A long-time admirer of the legendary Yorkshire batsman Geoffrey Boycott, May hosted the World Cup winning England team in Downing Street in one of her last engagements as PM, telling captain Eoin Morgan and his team: “You have helped the nation fall in love with cricket once again.”

Pushed out of office by her party colleagues unhappy with her approach to Brexit, May told MPs in her last appearance at Prime Minister’s Questions that she would continue to perform her duty to her constituents from the backbenches of the House.

She said: “I will return to the Back Benches. It will be my first time on the Back Benches in 21 years, so it will be quite a change from standing here at the Dispatch Box. I am told that over the past three years I have answered more than 4,500 questions over 140 hours in this House—more than I might have expected.”

“In future, I look forward to asking the questions. We are…living through extraordinary political times. This House of Commons is rightly at the centre of those events, and that is because of the vital link between every single Member of this House and the communities—the commons—that we represent.”

“That is the bedrock of our parliamentary democracy and of our liberty, and each one of us, wherever we sit and whatever we stand for, can take pride in that. That duty to serve my constituents will remain my greatest motivation.”

May has not revealed who she voted for in the Conservative leadership election, but given her frosty relations over Brexit with Johnson, who resigned from her cabinet over her approach to leaving the European Union, she would have voted for his rival, Jeremy Hunt.

First Published: Jul 25, 2019 19:44 IST