Theresa Mary May is a British politician serving as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Conservative Party since 2016. She served as Home Secretary from 2010 to 2016. May was first elected Member of Parliament for Maidenhead in 1997. Ideologically, she identifies herself as a one-nation conservative. May attended St Hugh's College, Oxford. After graduating in 1977, she worked for the Bank of England, she served as a councillor for Durnsford in Merton. After unsuccessful attempts to be elected to the House of Commons she was elected as the MP for Maidenhead in the 1997 general election. From 1999 to 2010, May held a number of roles in Shadow Cabinets, she was Chairwoman of the Conservative Party from 2002 to 2003. When the coalition government was formed after the 2010 general election, May was appointed Home Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities, but gave up the latter role in 2012, she continued to serve as home secretary after the Conservative victory in the 2015 general election, became the longest-serving home secretary in over 60 years.
During her tenure she pursued reform of the Police Federation, implemented a harder line on drugs policy including the banning of khat, oversaw the introduction of elected Police and Crime Commissioners, the deportation of Abu Qatada, the creation of the National Crime Agency, brought in additional restrictions on immigration. She is to the only woman to hold two of the great offices of state. In July 2016, after David Cameron resigned, May was elected as Conservative Party Leader, becoming Britain's second female Prime Minister after Margaret Thatcher; as Prime Minister, May began the process of withdrawing the UK from the European Union, triggering Article 50 in March 2017. The following month, she announced a snap general election, with the aim of strengthening her hand in Brexit negotiations; this resulted in a hung parliament, in which the number of Conservative seats fell from 330 to 317, despite the party winning its highest vote share since 1983. The loss of an overall majority prompted her to enter a confidence and supply arrangement with the Democratic Unionist Party to support a minority government.
May survived a vote of no confidence from her own MPs in December 2018 and a Parliamentary vote of no confidence in January 2019. May has said that she will not lead her party in the next general election scheduled for 2022 under the Fixed-term Parliaments Act, but has not ruled out leading it into a snap election. May carried out the Brexit negotiations with the European Union, adhering to the Chequers Agreement, which resulted in the draft Withdrawal Agreement between the UK and the EU; this agreement was defeated by Parliament in January 2019, negotiations continue to try and reach a deal. May’s revised deal was defeated in Parliament by 391 votes to 242. In March 2019, May committed to stepping down as Prime Minister if Parliament passed her Brexit deal, to make way for a new leader in the second phase of Brexit. Born on 1 October 1956 in Eastbourne, May is the only child of Zaidee Mary and Hubert Brasier, her father was a Church of England clergyman, chaplain of an Eastbourne hospital. He became vicar of Enstone with Heythrop and of St Mary's at Wheatley, to the east of Oxford.
May's mother was a supporter of the Conservative Party. She attended Heythrop Primary School, a state school in Heythrop, followed by St. Juliana's Convent School for Girls, a Roman Catholic independent school in Begbroke, which closed in 1984; when she was 13, May won a place at the former Holton Park Girls' Grammar School, a state school in Wheatley. During her time as a pupil, the Oxfordshire education system was reorganised and the school became the new Wheatley Park Comprehensive School. May attended the University of Oxford where she read geography at St Hugh's College, graduating with a second class BA degree in 1977. Between 1977 and 1983 May worked at the Bank of England, from 1985 to 1997 as a financial consultant and senior advisor in International Affairs at the Association for Payment Clearing Services, she married Philip May in September 1980. Her father died in her mother of multiple sclerosis the following year. May stated she was "sorry they never saw me elected as a Member of Parliament".
May served as a councillor for Durnsford ward on the London Borough of Merton from 1986 to 1994, where she was Chairman of Education and Deputy Group Leader and Housing Spokesman. In the 1992 general election May stood unsuccessfully for the safe Labour seat of North West Durham, coming second to incumbent MP Hilary Armstrong by 12,747 votes to 26,734, with future Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron coming third. May stood at the 1994 Barking by-election, prompted by the death of Labour MP Jo Richardson; the seat had been continuously held by Labour since it was created in 1945 and Labour candidate Margaret Hodge was expected to win which she did, with 13,704 votes. May came a distant third with 1,976 votes. Ahead of the 1997 general election, May was selected as the Conservative candidate for Maidenhead, a new seat, created from parts of the seats of Windsor and Maidenhead and Wokingham, she was elected with 25,344 votes double the total of second-placed Andrew Terence Ketteringham of the Liberal Democrats, who took 13,363 votes.
Having entered Parliament, May became a member of William Hague's front-bench Opposition team, as Shadow Spokesman for Schools, Disabled People and Women. She became the first of the 1997 MPs to enter the Shadow Cabinet when in 1999 she
The United Kingdom the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world; the Irish Sea lies between Great Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world, it is the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017. The UK is constitutional monarchy; the current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state.
The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire conurbations, Greater Glasgow and the Liverpool Built-up Area; the United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers, but such power is delegated by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which may enact laws unilaterally altering or abolishing devolution; the nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language and political systems of many of its former colonies; the United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world, it was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally, it is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946.
It has been a leading member state of the European Union and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. The United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization; the 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain". The term "United Kingdom" has been used as a description for the former kingdom of Great Britain, although its official name from 1707 to 1800 was "Great Britain"; the Acts of Union 1800 united the kingdom of Great Britain and the kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Following the partition of Ireland and the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland within the United Kingdom, the name was changed to the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
Although the United Kingdom is a sovereign country, Scotland and Northern Ireland are widely referred to as countries. The UK Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom; some statistical summaries, such as those for the twelve NUTS 1 regions of the United Kingdom refer to Scotland and Northern Ireland as "regions". Northern Ireland is referred to as a "province". With regard to Northern Ireland, the descriptive name used "can be controversial, with the choice revealing one's political preferences"; the term "Great Britain" conventionally refers to the island of Great Britain, or politically to England and Wales in combination. However, it is sometimes used as a loose synonym for the United Kingdom as a whole; the term "Britain" is used both as a synonym for Great Britain, as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Usage is mixed, with the BBC preferring to use Britain as shorthand only for Great Britain and the UK Government, while accepting that both terms refer to the United K
Bacs Payment Schemes Limited known as Bankers' Automated Clearing Services, is the organisation with responsibility for the schemes behind the clearing and settlement of UK automated payment methods Direct Debit and Bacs Direct Credit, as well as the provision of managed services for third parties. Bacs became a subsidiary of Pay. UK on 1 May 2018, as a result of this, overall responsibility for the operations of Direct Debit, Bacs Direct Credit, the Current Account Switch Service, Cash ISA Transfer Service and the Industry Sort Code Directory was handed over to Pay. UK. More than 130 billion transactions have been debited or credited to British bank accounts via Bacs since its inception. At the end of November 2018, the number of transactions processed by Bacs in a single day reached a new high of 123 million, while a new monthly record was set in August of the same year when 580 million payments were processed. In 1968, the electronic transfer of funds between banks was introduced by the Inter Bank Computer Bureau intended to improve the existing clearing system by avoiding the need for paper documents.
In 1971 this organisation was renamed Bankers Automated Clearing Services and, in 1986, the company shortened its name to Bacs Limited. On 1 December 2003, Bacs Payment Schemes Limited was split from Bacs Limited: BPSL as a "not for profit" body with members from the banking industry promoting the use of, setting the rules for automated payment schemes, with Bacs Limited owning the infrastructure to run the schemes. Bacs Limited was permitted to continue to use this name for one year, became Voca Limited on 12 October 2004. Voca Limited has since been merged with the UK national switch provider LINK Interchange Network Limited on 2 July 2007, the new company being called VocaLink. VocaLink owns the infrastructure on which payment schemes operate and Bacs Payment Schemes Limited maintains the integrity of the current schemes. From a technical perspective, in 2003, Bacs users began moving from the telephone dial-up BACSTEL service to an Internet-based service, BACSTEL-IP, quicker and more secure.
All Bacs users, including businesses that make payments to their suppliers or operate their staff payroll electronically, were required to move to BACSTEL-IP by the end of December 2005 or return to using cheques. When the BACSTEL-IP service was introduced all software used to make a connection to Bacs required approval, it is now only possible to make a connection with software from the list of Bacs Approved Solution Suppliers, or by using an approved bureau. This was followed in 2008 by the mandatory requirement for all new service users to use AUDDIS – a more efficient system for organisations to send new Direct Debit instructions to their customers’ bank, or building society, electronically instead of in paper format. In the same year, annual Direct Debit volumes surpassed the three billion mark and, by 2013, this figure reached 3.5 billion with 100 billion payments processed since 1968. A record-breaking 2014 saw Bacs process 5.8 billion transactions, totalling £4.4 trillion and included 3.6 billion Direct Debits.
These highs were surpassed again in 2015, when the number of payments passing through the Bacs system topped six billion for the first time, at a value of £4.6 trillion. 239 million more Direct Debits were processed in 2015 than the previous 12 months, representing the highest year-on-year increase in payments made this way.2015 was notable for the setting of another new record, with 103 million transactions processed in a single day in July, the first time the daily total had surpassed the 100 million mark. In the same year it was announced that the number of payments handled by Bacs since 1968 had broken the 110 billion mark; the records continued to fall in 2016 with 6.22 billion transactions processed at a value of £4.8 trillion, while the number of payments made by Direct Debit broke the 4 billion barrier for the first time. The daily processing record was broken twice in the same year, with the 109.3 million payments passing through the system on a single day at the end of September surpassing the previous high of 103.7 million recorded in April.
And, these figures were again surpassed in 2017, with over 6.34 billion payments processed at a total of £4.9 trillion. At the end of November 2018, the number of transactions processed by Bacs in a single day reached a new high of 123 million, while a new monthly record was set in August of the same year when 580 million payments were processed. In January 2019 it was announced that the previous 12 months had broken overall records, with 6.4 billion UK payments, worth just shy of £5 trillion, processed by Bacs. A well as having responsibility for the Direct Debit and Bacs Direct Credit schemes in the UK, in recent years the scope of Bacs expanded to include the provision of managed services for third parties, such as the Cash ISA Transfer Service, the development and subsequent ownership of the high-profile Current Account Switch Service, which launched in September 2013; the service has reduced the time it takes for consumer, small businesses and small charities to switch current accounts to seven working days and is backed by a guarantee.
To date, the service has facilitated over 5 million switches. On 1 May 2018, Bacs became a wholly owned subsidiary of the new home for Pay. UK; as a result of this move, the responsibility for the operations of Direct Debit, Bacs Direct Credit, the Current Account Switch Service, Cash ISA Transfer Service and the Industry Sort Code Directory were han