Our new Prime Minister, Theresa May, has been remarkably quiet about her views on subjects outside her own policy area in government. We know a fair amount about what she thinks on policing, immigration and human rights. But what about the other issues Unlock Democracy supporters care about? We looked through her speeches in Parliament and her voting record to see what we could find - though since May has been on the frontbenches for all but two of her years in Parliament, this might not be a perfect guide to what she actually thinks!
Theresa May on…
...a fairer voting system:
May has never said the words “electoral reform” in Parliament. In 2002, as Shadow Transport Secretary, she spoke up in favour of first-past-the-post, the voting system that delivered the most disproportionate election result in history in 2015, handing her the majority she now enjoys even though the Conservatives won just 37% of the vote:
As Shadow Leader of the Commons in 2007, May welcomed the Phillips Report into cleaning up party funding: “We need to reform party funding if we are to get cleaner and cheaper politics, and we need cross-party consensus if we are to reform party funding.” These talks stalled after parties could not agree on a donation cap. Earlier this year, David Cameron’s government returned to the issue of trade union funding with the one-sided Trade Union Bill.
Theresa May has never spoken in the Commons about lobbying transparency, the need for a lobbying register or the influence of lobbyists - a big contrast to David Cameron, who made it a big part of his pitch in opposition.
...an elected House of Lords:
As Shadow Leader of the Commons in 2007, she argued for “a House of Lords elected by the many...not the few”. But that doesn’t mean a completely elected House - she voted for 80% elected, 20% appointed. She supported the Lords Reform Bill in 2012 on a similar basis.