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24th May 2019

Theresa May had tears for herself, but not for anyone else

Wayne Farry

theresa may

In the end, Theresa May’s reaction to her announcement encapsulated everything wrong with her leadership

Theresa May has been defeated. On Friday morning the prime minister announced that she would be leaving 10 Downing Street after 34 months attempting to portray someone roughly resembling the leader of a nation.

It was a surrender of sorts from her. For years she has been the focus of hate for most of the country, from those who want to remain in the European Union to those who want to see the UK leave the European Union behind and embark on a vague journey into the future.

Until now she has been able to hold onto her position, whether it be through undeliverable promises, or more recently her promise that if not pushed she will eventually jump.

That moment – that jump – arrived on Friday, and May’s demeanour was telling. Usually composed to the point of tedium, May lacked the charisma that is required to paper over the cracks of a rudderless boat.

But on Friday things were different. On Friday, as she addressed the public as prime minister – perhaps for the final time – there was emotion in her voice and on her face. She was devastated.

Here she was, after years and years of hard work, at the doorstep of the highest office in the land, having to hand back the keys to her dream. As she finished her speech, tears began to flow and her voice broke.

This was the human side to Theresa May, some said, the side that she should have shown throughout her premiership. Here it was finally, a heart – a human heart – except it wasn’t.

A human heart would have cried for the Windrush generation. A human heart would have cried for austerity, cuts to the NHS and millions of children in poverty.

A human heart would have cried for the 72 lives lost in Grenfell Tower.

Instead, she cried when she lost her job.