As German firms plan to cut UK investment...

May poised for Number 10 as PM certain to be female

Theresa MayAndrea Leadsom Tory literatureBritain will get its second female Prime Minister after Michael Gove was eliminated in the latest round of voting among Tory MPs.

Home Secretary Theresa May (far left) received 199 votes, Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom (near left) 84, and Mr Gove, the Justice Secretary, 46.

Conservative members will now make the final choice with the decision to be announced on 9 September.

The winner will be the first female leader of the UK since Margaret Thatcher was forced out of office in 1990. It will also mean that together with German chancellor Angela Merkel and the US potentially heading for its first female President, three of the biggest economies in the world could be led by women.

Other female leaders include Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Northern Ireland’s First Minister Arlene Foster.

After the latest vote, Mrs May said she was receiving support from all sides of the party promised “strong, proven leadership” to negotiate the UK’s departure from the EU.

Apart from becoming Tory party leader the winner also becomes Prime Minister, succeeding David Cameron who resigned on 24 June after the referendum decision for Britain to leave the EU.

The scale of the task facing the new occupant of Number 10 was laid bare today when a survey in Germany revealed that one in four German companies with operations in the UK plans to cut jobs following the vote to leave the EU.

The survey by the German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK) also showed that one in three of these companies now plans to cut their investment into the UK.

The DIHK contacted thousands of German businesses, of which 53 had branches in the UK, to seek their opinion on Brexit in the days following the referendum. 

Commenting on the report, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “These are deeply worrying findings. Working people must not pay the price for Brexit with their jobs and livelihoods.

“The government urgently needs to come up with an action plan to re-assure foreign investors and companies that Britain is still open for business.

“Now isn’t the time for ministers to sit on their hands. They need to fast-track spending on key infrastructure projects like high-speed rail and the third runway at Heathrow.”

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