Women politicians are making news and stepping into high-powered leadership roles in the British Isles. See who’s arrived…and who’s aiming for the top.
1. Theresa May
Britain’s exit from the European Union – Brexit for short – led to power struggles and resignations among male politicians. Who stepped in to lead the nation? A woman. The country’s first woman Prime Minister since Margaret Thatcher, Theresa May, took over the leadership of the Conservative Party and the United Kingdom on July 13th and quickly put a team in place.
May, 59, is a veteran Cabinet minister with a reputation as a steely, experienced pragmatist. She balances her no-nonsense image with a glam shoe collection.
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2. Angela Eagle
The Conservatives’ rivals, the Labour Party, are mounting a woman challenger of their own. Angela Eagle, 54, is opposing party leader Jeremy Corbyn for Labour’s top post. Eagle not only became a Member of the UK Parliament in 1992, but her twin sister Maria was elected in 1997. She was the first woman MP to voluntarily come out of the closet, and married her longtime partner in 2008.
3. Nicola Sturgeon
Heading north to Scotland, women dominate the political scene. Respected Member of the Scottish Parliament Nicola Sturgeon, 45, leads the Scottish National Party, which mounted a hard-fought campaign to leave the UK in 2014.
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4. Kezia Dugdale
At only 34, soft-spoken Scottish MP Dugdale tops the Scottish Labour Party, which is trying to win voters from the SNP.
PHOTO: THE INVERNESS COURIER
5. Ruth Davidson
This outspoken, upbeat Scottish MP and social media favorite is the leader of Scotland’s Conservative and Unionist Party. She and Dugdale have faced off over Brexit and its aftermath.
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