Sir Philip John May (born 1957) is a British investment manager and Conservative Party supporter who worked for Capital Group as an investment relationship manager. He is married to Theresa May, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
|Spouse of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom|
13 July 2016 – 24 July 2019
|Prime Minister||Theresa May|
|Preceded by||Samantha Cameron|
|Succeeded by||Marina Wheeler|
Philip John May
1957 (age 63–64)
|Residence||Sonning, Berkshire, England|
|Education||Calday Grange Grammar School|
|Alma mater||Lincoln College, Oxford|
May was born in Norwich in 1957. His father was a sales representative for a shoe wholesaler, while his mother taught French. He grew up on the Wirral, attending school in Heswall and then Calday Grange Grammar School in West Kirby. May studied history at Lincoln College, Oxford, and was elected President of the Oxford Union in 1979. He succeeded future Conservative MP Sir Alan Duncan in the role before handing over the baton to journalist Michael Crick.
May has worked in finance since graduating from Oxford University. In 2005, he joined the financial group Capital Group as a relationship manager; he had previously been a fund manager for de Zoete & Bevan, Prudential Portfolio Managers and Deutsche Asset Management. His former LinkedIn profile listed his focuses in work as pension fund and insurance relationship management.
In regards to his persona, one of his colleagues told The Guardian that "around the office, he is a fairly head-down type of guy. There is a stereotypical investment manager with a big ego – he's not like that at all."
After his wife Theresa May emerged as the remaining candidate for the Conservative Party leadership, May's employer issued a statement saying his current job does not make him responsible for investment decisions: "[May] is not involved with, and doesn't manage, money and is not a portfolio manager. His job is to ensure the clients are happy with the service and that we understand their goals."
Involvement in politics
May briefly served as chairman of the Conservative Party Wimbledon constituency association before reportedly deciding to concentrate on a career in finance. Nonetheless he remained consistently active and enthusiastic as a Tory supporter, and often described as an "experienced Conservative activist". He was named in the Panama Papers in 2016.
May did not attend meetings to advise the Prime Minister in any official capacity but was referred to by some as the Prime Minister's 'most trusted adviser', following her consultation with him over calling the snap general election in 2017 and her 2016 Conservative Party Conference speech. He helped to canvass voters ahead of the 2017 Copeland by-election and supports his wife in her Maidenhead constituency affairs.
May made his first official visit as the British PM's consort to the G20 summit in July 2017 at Hamburg, Germany. During the visit, he attended gala concerts and took boat trips with the spouses of other world leaders.
On 27 January 2019, The Sunday Times reported Theresa May's chief of staff Lord Barwell broke ranks to accuse Philip May of "scuppering" plans to offer the Labour Party a permanent customs union with the EU to try to push the withdrawal agreement through parliament. May is said to have encouraged his wife to seek changes to the deal by removing the Irish backstop, in order for it to be approved by parliament with the support of the DUP and Brexiteer MPs.
May and his future wife, then Theresa Brasier, met as undergraduates at Oxford, being introduced by Benazir Bhutto at a Conservative Party student event. They further bonded over a shared love of cricket, and were married on 6 September 1980 by Theresa's father, the Rev Hubert Brasier.
As the spouse of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, May avoided giving interviews or making public statements but did accompany his wife for a joint interview on the BBC One programme The One Show prior to the 2017 general election. During this interview, Theresa May admitted her sadness, for health reasons, she and Philip have not been able to have children, saying: "You look at families all the time and you see there is something there that you don't have". Also in the interview, May said: "I get to decide when I take the bins out. Not if I take them out", and commented, "I do the traditional boy jobs by and large." Asked about the downside to being married to the Prime Minister, May insisted it was a privilege, saying: "If you're the kind of man who expects his tea to be on the table at six o'clock every evening, you could be a disappointed man."
- Boris Johnson, although separated with Wheeler upon taking office, was still legally married to her until their divorce was finalised on an unknown date in 2020; therefore, she was a spouse of the prime minister.
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| Spouse of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom