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10 things you need to know about the UK’s new Prime Minister

First it was Boris. Then it was Gove. Then Leadsom entered the fray. And now she's gone too, after one spectacularly ill-judged newspaper interview - with her campaign perfectly described, as always, by a Simpsons gif:

Thanks for playing Andrea.

And so, after political journalists (who essentially haven't slept for about three weeks) spent about half an hour working out what the hell happens now, it's been all-but-confirmed that the Conservative leadership contest is now effectively over, with Theresa May not needing to formally triumph in a leadership contest.

And, boom, like that, we have a new Prime Minister-elect.

So, what do we need to know about our new leader?

  • 10 things you need to know about the UK's new Prime Minister

    She voted Remain, but will be backing Brexit now

    May was officially campaigning for the Remain side in the EU referendum, but deliberately kept a low profile - possibly in anticipation of just such a situation as now arising in the aftermath of a vote to leave. However, she has made it crystal clear that she will be leading the country out of the European Union, saying in a speech today: "Brexit means Brexit, and we're going to make a success of it."

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    She popularised the phrase 'the nasty party'

    During her speech at the 2002 Conservative Party Conference, shortly after becoming the first female Chairman of the Conservative Party, she described how she thought the party must change, saying, "you know what people call us: the Nasty Party". In the wake of this, David Cameron sought to soften the image of the Conservatives, adopting phrases such as 'compassionate conservatism', 'hug a hoodie', 'One Nation' politics and his infamous 'Big Society' - aka encouraging people and charities to do things for free instead of the state funding them.

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    She is anti-immigration, but it remains to be seen exactly how strong her position will be

    She has said that controlling EU immigration is an essential part of the Brexit deal, but says that access to the single market is the "priority" so, with the EU stating that there will be no access without freedom of movement, it remains to be seen how flexible she will prove to be regarding this aspect of policy.

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    She has refused to guarantee that EU citizens currently in the UK will be allowed to stay

    A source close to May told the Independent, “She [Ms May] was saying it’s unwise to promise right now that all EU nationals living in Britain should be able to stay indefinitely. The reason for that is if we did that the same rights would have to apply to any EU national who comes to Britain before we leave the EU. If we made that promise you could just see a huge influx… of EU nationals who would all want to come here while they have that chance.”

    However, it is unclear whether she would stick to this if it came to the crunch - she may simply be using this public position as a bargaining tool to gain other concessions from the EU during Brexit negotiations.

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    She has a degree in Geography

    May studied at state schools before heading to University to study geography at St. Hughes College, Oxford between 1974 and 1977 - she only recently revealed that she attained a 2:2 grade. Hopefully she at least learnt a few capital cities, otherwise those EU negotiations are going to be very awkward.

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    She'll be the second female Prime Minister of the UK

    Obviously this was always going to be the case, given the choice of two women on the shortlist, but she follows a certain Margaret Thatcher, who won three elections and was Prime Minister for more than 11 years, between 1979 and 1990. May was already only the fourth woman to occupy one of the British Great Offices of State, after Margaret Thatcher (Prime Minister), Margaret Beckett (Foreign Secretary) and Jacqui Smith (Home Secretary).

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    Her parents both had superb names

    Theresa May is the daughter of Zaidee Mary and Hubert Brasier. Her father was a Church of England clergyman. Given this, Theresa (middle name Mary) seems quite a restrained choice of name to us.

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    Her interests outside politics are cooking and walking

    We'd say it's a pretty safe bet that she won't be involved in any sex and drug scandals during her time in office.

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    She's not afraid to crack a joke

    Despite her reputation as a fairly straightforward, austere woman, she unleashed a zinger in the direction of Boris Johnson recently, saying in a speech relating to his ability to deal with Brexit negotiations, “The last time he did a deal with the Germans, he came back with three nearly new water cannons”.

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    She is a supporter of same-sex marriage

    In contrast to her rival Andrea Leadsom, she is a supporter of gay marriage, becoming one of the first high-profile Tory MPs to publicly support the cause. She said, "I believe if two people care for each other, if they love each other, if they want to commit to each other... then they should be able to get married and marriage should be for everyone".

    (Image: Rex)