Former Merton councillor Theresa May will be confirmed as the new prime minister today.

Mrs May was a councillor for Wimbledon Park ward – then known as Durnsford ward – from 1986 until 1994, serving on the housing committee and becoming deputy leader as chair for education.

Wimbledon Times:

Former councillor Theresa May pictured with colleagues in 1990

She will be formally asked to form a government by the Queen today, Wednesday, July 13, when David Cameron hands in his resignation.

Leader of Merton Conservatives, Councillor Oonagh Moulton, now represents Mrs May’s former ward, and says the new prime minister was the reason she got into politics.

She said: “On a very wet and windy night my doorbell went. At the time I was working full time in the City and wasn’t thinking about getting involved in local government or politics, but then the doorbell went.

“This lady was standing on my doorstep with a man, who I later found out was her husband Philip, and he was a little bit behind and holding an umbrella over her.

“She introduced herself and started talking to me, and I thought it was brilliant. She asked me if I wanted to get involved, and the rest is history.”

She added: “She’s remembered fondly here by lots of people, whether they are Conservative or not.”

Conservative Councillor David Williams worked alongside Mrs May  on the housing commitee, and remembers a diligent and hardworking colleague.

He said: “She was very thoughtful about what she was doing. She was always very conscientious about working in her ward, and helping people in the community.

“We used to pull her leg because on her voicemail machine it said ‘your call is very important to me, please leave me a message and I will try and get back to you’. Nowadays that’s very common, but 25 years ago it wasn’t. We used to think it was over the top, but it was just her way of showing people they mattered. She was particularly good at that.

“I know she made an impact on the wider community. They may not have agreed with her politics, but they respected her.”

Labour Councillor Philip Jones, who also worked with Mrs May, said: “She was obviously very bright.

“She comes across now as a bit grim sometimes, but in those days I remember her being quite a lively character. She could certainly laugh at herself.

“When I was chair of the environment committee, I remember her demanding my resignation. But I don’t really remember what it was about.”

Mr Jones added: “I think, considering the alternatives, that the Conservatives picked the best person.”

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