Theresa May, a Conservative politician, has become Britain’s second female prime minister after weeks of turmoil in British politics following the EU referendum.
May, 59, accepted an invitation from Queen Elizabeth II on Wednesday to form a new government just minutes after David Cameron, the outgoing prime minister, made his resignation official.
She is expected to begin announcing details of her cabinet later on Wednesday.
“The government I’ll lead will be driven not by the interests of the privileged few, but by yours,” said May, as she arrived at 10 Downing Street from Buckingham Palace.
Her speech was focused on inclusion, as she promised to fight against “burning injustice”, citing the difficulties of young white working-class men in getting a place at university, black Britons when they need to use the criminal justice system, women in the workplace, mental health patients and young people who hope to own their own homes.
David Cameron’s “true legacy is not about the economy but about social justice”, she said. “In that spirit, I also plan to lead.”
Her appointment comes after weeks of uncertainty after millions of Britons went against her advice, and that of Cameron, and voted to leave the European Union.
Until Wednesday, May was the Home Secretary.
Having failed to convince Britons to vote to remain in the EU, Cameron resigned, opening the way for a brief leadership contest.
May is second female prime minister after Margaret Thatcher, also a Conservative politician, who led the country from 1979 until 1990.