Former prime minister Theresa May has announced she will stand down as an MP at the next general election.

In an exclusive statement to her local paper, May said she had taken the “difficult decision” to quit the Commons after 27 years representing her Maidenhead constituency.

May’s decision to leave Westminster adds to an exodus that has seen more than 60 Tory MPs say they will not fight for their seats at the next election—the highest total since 1997.

High profile MPs who have said they will quit include former cabinet ministers Ben Wallace, Sajid Javid, Dominic Raab and Kwasi Kwarteng.

Theresa May’s time as Prime Minister is generally seen as disasterous for the Conservative Party. They came within a few thousand votes of losing the 2017 election, despite their opponent, Jeremy Corbyn, having the whole establishment and its media viciously attacking him.

From 2015 to 2019,, May presided over multiple controversies:

  1. Brexit Negotiations: May’s handling of the Brexit negotiations was highly controversial. The proposed withdrawal agreement faced criticism from both pro-Brexit and pro-Remain factions within her own party and the wider political spectrum.
  2. Windrush Scandal: The Windrush scandal involved the mistreatment of the “Windrush generation,” which comprised Commonwealth citizens who arrived in the UK before 1971. The controversial “hostile environment” policy, designed to crack down on illegal immigration, resulted in wrongful detentions and deportations of Windrush citizens.
  3. Austerity Measures: May continued the austerity policies initiated by her predecessor, David Cameron. These policies involved significant cuts to public spending, particularly in areas such as welfare and public services, which generated criticism for their impact on vulnerable populations.
  4. Police Funding and Crime Rates: May faced criticism for her role as Home Secretary in implementing cuts to police budgets, which some argued contributed to a rise in crime rates. This became a contentious issue during her premiership, with concerns about public safety and law enforcement capabilities.
  5. National Health Service (NHS) Funding: May’s approach to funding the National Health Service (NHS) was a source of controversy. Critics argued that the level of funding was insufficient to meet the growing demands on the healthcare system, leading to concerns about the quality of patient care. This was realised when the underfunding of the health and care services led to mundreds of well over one hundred thousand excess deaths during the Covid pandemic.
  6. Social Care Funding (“Dementia Tax”): The 2017 Conservative Party manifesto proposed changes to social care funding, which became widely known as the “dementia tax.” The policy suggested that individuals receiving care at home would be required to contribute more to their care costs, leading to accusations of placing a disproportionate burden on the elderly and vulnerable.
  7. Human Rights and Security: May’s advocacy for measures such as the “Snooper’s Charter” (Investigatory Powers Act) raised concerns about privacy and civil liberties. Critics argued that the legislation granted excessive surveillance powers to the government without sufficient safeguards.

As a consequence, to say social media has been perceptive in their epitaphs would be an understatement. Here are just four.

Whatever you think of Theresa May, she stood for a set of laudable and principled political values: Go Home vans, deporting Black British pensioners, restoring the whip to an MP accused of sexual assault to save her in a no confidence vote…. (Ash Sarkur)

The architect of the hostile environment; the minister of the ‘go home’ vans; the PM who chose to implement a retrospective application system for EU citizens; the red Brexit lines that caused so much damage … the list goes on and on. Good riddance. (Prof Tanya Bueltmann)

Do not attempt to rehabilitate Theresa May’s legacy on my timeline. She of the hostile environment, meaning people with insecure status avoid hospital treatment, sent “Go Home” vans into largely Black and Asian areas and terrorised and deported Caribbean elders to their DEATHS. (Marcus)

Before Johnson, Truss and Sunak. You were the worst PM I’d ever known. You were weak and ineffective. Your go home vans were racist, and you were appalling after Grenfell. You didn’t stand up to the mad Brexiters. (Mimi J)

Theresa May, like all Conservatives, doesn’t care about the vulnerable in a system that creates vulnerability by the barrel load. They are pompous, arrogant, and self-righteous, and with that comes death and misery. And lots of it.

But we must finish on ‘May the Marxist’ just to cheer us all up

Penny Lane

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