Tag Archives: The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

PM’s Speech At Downing Street Reception To Celebrate The Legacy Of Jo Cox: 17 January 2018

The Prime Minister hosted a reception at Downing Street to celebrate Jo Cox’s legacy, and the important work of her family, Foundation and Loneliness Commission

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

Delivered On: 17 January 2018 (Transcript of the speech, exactly as it was delivered)

Thank you, thank you very much for those excellent words, Seema, and good afternoon, everyone. It’s an honour to have you all here today as we remember the life of a remarkable woman and thank those who are continuing the work that meant so much to her. And I’d like to give a very special welcome to Jo’s immediate family. Her husband, Brendan, who has been an inspiration to so many over the past year and a half. Her wonderful children, Cuillin and Lejla; her proud parents, Jean and Gordon; Brendan’s parents, Sheila and Gordon; and Jo’s beloved little sister, Kim. Kim once said of her older sister that she wasn’t a complainer but a doer. It’s all too easy to stand on the side lines and say that something must be done. Actually getting out there and doing it, as Jo did throughout her life, takes an extra level of effort and commitment. And that determination to make things happen, to bring about change, was something that defined Jo’s work, both before and after she entered Parliament. And in the 19 months since her death, it’s a legacy that has been carried forward both by her family and by the Foundation and Commission that bears her name, and at the heart of that work is the fight against loneliness.

In a country of more than 60 million people, and in an age where we can instantly connect with friends, relatives and even strangers around the world, it may seem counterintuitive that any of us could find ourselves feeling lonely. Yet, more than 9 million of us say that we always, or often, feel lonely. 200,000 older people have not had a conversation with a friend or a relative in more than a month. Up to 85% of young adults with disabilities say they feel lonely most days.

As Jo herself used to say, loneliness doesn’t discriminate. But just as loneliness can affect any of us, so any of us can help to tackle it. And that could mean simply popping round to see an elderly neighbour or picking up the phone to a relative. Or you could follow the example of Phil Burton, a former Royal Artillery Lance Bombardier who is here with us today. After leaving the Army, Phil realised that many of his ex-servicemen were suffering from social isolation; they had lost the close‑knit family that the Armed Forces provided. So, last year, he founded the Veterans Café in Lancashire. Its fortnightly get-togethers create a place where former members of the Armed Forces can come together, talk, share experiences and access support from charities and the NHS, and the projects proved a huge success, attracting hundreds of veterans of all ages. And just talking to Phil earlier on, he was saying that for many veterans they won’t open up to somebody in authority or somebody who’s there to help them, but they will open up to another veteran. And that is so important to them, and so many lives have been changed as a result of what Phil has done. So, I was delighted to meet him and present him with a Points of Light award earlier, which recognises outstanding volunteers in our country for their service to others. And the Veterans Café is exactly the kind of local project Jo supported, celebrated and encouraged.

And over the past year and a half, the Jo Cox Foundation has continued that work, most notably with The Great Get Together, and last summer’s events were the biggest set of neighbourhood celebrations since the Jubilee street parties. I had the pleasure of attending one in my own constituency, and I am very pleased to confirm that The Great Get Together will return this summer, on 22nd June. It will bring together millions of people on what would have been Jo’s 44th birthday. I am certainly looking forward to it.

But Jo’s legacy doesn’t end there. There is also the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness, created just over a year ago. And in the spirit of having more in common, it is, as you’ve just heard from Seema, jointly shared by two MPs: one Conservative, my good friend, Seema Kennedy, who you’ve just heard from; and one Labour, Rachel Reeves. And both worked closely with Jo during her all too brief time in Parliament. And both have spent the past 12 months looking at what the Government and others can do, to continue her legacy. And the Commission’s report, which was published just before Christmas, highlights a range of areas where action is needed. And in response, we’ve started work on an England-wide strategy to tackle loneliness, which will be published later this year.

Work has also begun on developing the evidence base around the impact of different initiatives, across all ages and within all communities. And the Office of National Statistics is committed to establishing a framework for measuring loneliness, so consistent figures can be used in major research studies. And we will create a new, dedicated fund that will see government working with charities, foundations, and others, to stimulate innovative solutions, provide seed funding for community initiatives, and scale-up existing projects. And all this work will be overseen by a new ministerial lead on loneliness, Tracey Crouch. She will be keeping the challenge of tackling loneliness firmly on the agenda of colleagues across Whitehall. And any of you have met Tracey today at the reception, I think will agree that she is hugely enthusiastic about the role that she has taken on. Because this issue isn’t just an issue for our Health Service, or for local councils, every department has a role to play and Tracey will be responsible for bringing them all together to get things done, and she’ll be continuing to work closely with the Jo Cox Commission. And of course, she’ll also be collaborating with people like you here in this room today. People who, like Jo, believe in causes and ideals, in working together in making a difference. And when I look around the room today, those are the kind of people that I see. You are all contributing in your own way, but in so many different ways. And Tracey and I are looking forward to working with you to make this project a fitting tribute to everything that Jo stood for.

In Brendan’s memoir of life with Jo, he recounts the awful first night after Cuillin and Lejla learnt that their mother had died, and he describes how Cuillin, then aged just five, wrote and sang a song in tribute to her; a song with a simple yet devastating refrain, ‘I love my mummy, I will not leave her behind’. Cuillin, don’t worry, none of us will leave your mummy behind. None of us will forget her life, her ideals, or what she stood for. And all of us will do all that we can to see that, in her memory, we bring an end to the acceptance of loneliness in our society. Thank you.

PM: Thousands Have Saved Money Already Thanks To Government’s Stamp Duty Cut

Prime Minister Theresa May visited Wokingham to meet a first-time buyer

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

The Prime Minister will be in Wokingham, Berkshire, today [Wednesday 3 January] to meet one of the estimated 16,000 people who have already benefited from changes to stamp duty announced by the Government in the Autumn Budget.

The stamp duty changes will mean a saving of up to £5,000 for first-time buyers in Wokingham.

The Government has abolished stamp duty altogether for first-time buyer purchases up to £300,000, and made this relief available for the first £300,000 of properties worth up to £500,000, providing help for people in higher value areas.

The changes mean a stamp duty cut for 95% of all first-time buyers who pay it and no stamp duty at all for 80% of first time buyers, with savings of up to £5,000.

Over 16,000 first-time buyers are estimated to have already saved thousands of pounds since the changes took effect in November, with over a million first-time buyers set to benefit in total over the next five years.

Ahead of the visit, Prime Minister Theresa May said:

I have made it my personal mission to build the homes this country needs so we can restore the dream of home ownership for people up and down the UK.

In the Autumn we set out ambitious plans to fix the broken housing market and make sure young people have the same opportunities as their parents’ generation to own their own home.

This has had an immediate impact, with thousands of people already making savings thanks to our stamp duty cut, and over a million first-time buyers over the next 5 years are expected to save money that they can put towards a deposit, solicitors’ fees or furniture.

We are building a Britain that is fit for the future and our message to the next generation is this – getting on – and climbing up – the housing ladder is not just a dream of your parents’ past, but a reality for your future.

The stamp duty change builds on the steps already taken to help young people enter the housing market – including the successful Help to Buy scheme and introduction of Lifetime ISAs.

At the Autumn Budget the Government announced the UK will deliver an average 300,000 additional homes each year by the mid-2020s through targeted new financial support and reforms to the planning system. These measures mean that we are on track to raise annual housing supply by the end of the Parliament to its highest level since 1970.

The Budget set out a series of other measures to boost the housing market including:

  • Providing £1.1bn to help prepare sites for developers to build homes on
  • Providing £1.5bn in SME loans to build houses
  • Providing £630m to provide infrastructure to accelerate homes on small sites
  • Providing £1bn in borrowing for councils to build new council homes
  • Providing £2.7bn of grants to local authorities for strategic infrastructure to support new house building
  • Investing £400m to transform estates
  • Providing financial guarantees worth £8bn to support housebuilding
  • Reforming developer contributions to ensure that funding for new infrastructure and affordable housing is made simpler and quicker

PM Call With President Trump: 19 December 2017

Prime Minister Theresa May spoke with US President Donald Trump, offering her condolences over the loss of life in the terrible train crash in Washington state

No. 10 Downing Street

No. 10 Downing Street

A Downing Street spokesperson said:

The Prime Minister called President Trump earlier this afternoon. She began by offering her condolences over the loss of life in the terrible train crash in Washington state.

They discussed the different positions we took on the recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, and agreed on the importance of the US bringing forward new proposals for peace and the international community supporting these efforts.

The Prime Minister also raised Yemen, highlighting our ongoing deep concerns at the humanitarian situation. They agreed on the vital importance of reopening humanitarian and commercial access to prevent famine and alleviate the suffering of innocent Yemenis.

The Prime Minister updated the President on the recent good progress of the Brexit negotiations, and the President set out the progress he had made on his economic agenda. They agreed on the importance of a swift post-Brexit bilateral trade deal.

They wished each other a very Merry Christmas and looked forward to keeping in close touch.

PM Meeting With Prime Minister Rajoy

Prime Minister Theresa May met with Prime Minister Rajoy of Spain. The two leaders discussed Catalonia, Brexit negotiations and foreign policy

Prime Minister Theresa May and Prime Minister Rajoy

Prime Minister Theresa May and Prime Minister Rajoy

A Downing Street spokesperson said:

The Prime Minister met with Prime Minister Rajoy of Spain this afternoon. Theresa May began by restating the UK’s support for the Spanish Government on the issue of Catalonia – stating the rule of law must be upheld and the Spanish constitution respected.

The Prime Minister gave an update on the Brexit negotiations, confirming that she would be reconvening talks with the European Commission before the end of the week. She said both sides were positive about the progress that could be made ahead of December European Council. Prime Minister Rajoy said he shared the desire to move talks on to the next stage of negotiations as quickly as possible and that Spain would remain a constructive partner.

Prime Minister Rajoy spoke about the deep and strong relationship between Spain and the UK, referring to the significant investment that Spanish companies have made in the UK and the fruitful trading relationship. The Prime Minister welcomed views on how we could continue a good trading relationship between the two countries after Brexit and ensure this was as frictionless as possible.

The two leaders spoke about foreign policy and the threat of Russia, agreeing that it was important to maintain a collective and rigorous approach to sanctions and to counter disinformation.

They also spoke about increasing co-operation to counter the growing threat of terrorism. The Prime Minister outlined that the nature of terrorism was changing and how the internet and social media was providing terrorists with an extra tool to accelerate and amplify the terror they seek to spread.

Lastly, Prime Minister Rajoy raised the issue of the abhorrent treatment of Libyan people being smuggled into Europe and the ongoing efforts to help repatriate them. The Prime Minister said that this was an important challenge and she wanted to work closely with her European colleagues now and in the future to see what more could be done by, for example, improving conditions in the country of origin.