Prime Minister Theresa May will face her cabinet for the first time since quitting as Tory leader – but seems much happier since resigning, an insider has said
Theresa May faced her ministers for the first time since quitting as Tory leader today – but appears to have the weight of the world off her shoulders.
Today’s cabinet is likely to be awkward with the outgoing PM now in a caretaker as her MPs fight a full-throttle battle to replace her at the end of July.
But one Tory MP told MailOnline they had never seen Mrs May smiling so much since she resigned last Friday.
He said: ‘She is going. It’s like Cameron – he was 10 years younger when he walked out of the door.’
Leadership hopefuls Rory Stewart, Jeremy Hunt, Sajid Javid and Michael Gove all looked equally jovial when walking up Downing Street.
Their boss will today announce plans to create a new transparency registry to alert consumers to companies that exploit forced labour.
Mrs May wants to push through changes that will protect more people from modern slavery and will present it to ministers this morning.
The PM, who stepped down as leader of the governing Conservative Party earlier this month, is also due to call on world leaders to face up to their ‘moral duty’ and take action to halt modern slavery.
Chancellor Philip Hammond has already tried to block Mrs May’s plans for a multi-billion pound spending spree to secure her legacy.
The PM had planned to announce a series of spending pledges, including billions for schools and colleges, but has been blocked by her Chancellor.
In her final days in power, Mrs May has clashed with Mr Hammond, who is refusing to fund the pledges she wants to make, whose cost is estimated by the Treasury at £10 billion.
Mr Hammond is understood to want to keep the money aside as part of his Brexit war chest he has built up while a no-deal Brexit remains a possibility, the FT reported.
Michael Gove smiles as he tries to shake off the scandal over his use of cocaine 20 years ago
Jeremy Hunt is one of the front runners to replace the PM as is Home Secretary Sajid Javid
Secretary of State for International Development Rory Stewart pets the Downing Street cat as he enters No 10 today
Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who is also vying to replace Mrs May, gives a thumbs up to photgraphers outside No 10
Later she will travel to the United Nations’ International Labour Organisation centenary conference in Geneva.
Mrs May will urge business and political representatives to do more to protect the millions of people being held and forced to work against their will.
She is expected to say: ‘No leader worthy of the name can look the other way while men, women and children are held against their will, forced to work for a pittance or no pay at all, routinely beaten, raped and tortured.
‘So, those of us who can speak out, who have a platform from which to be heard, have a duty, a moral duty, to raise our voices on their behalf.’
As then home secretary, Mrs May oversaw the introduction of the UK’s Modern Slavery Act in 2015, said to be the the first of its kind in Europe.
The outgoing Prime Minister now plans to announce further measures to help tackle modern slavery at home and overseas.
These include funding a £10 million programme to reduce the exploitation of children in Africa’s agricultural industries and the creation of a new international modern slavery and migration envoy to help co-ordinate the UK’s work with other nations.
Chancellor Philip Hammond arrives for a cabinet meeting at 10 Downing Street having reportedly tried to block some of the PM’s legacy policies
Under the Modern Slavery Act, large businesses have a duty to be open about their efforts to cut out abuse from their supply chains.
Mrs May now wants to create a new central registry of modern slavery transparency statements to give consumers the ability to make informed choices about businesses.
She will also urge the Government to find ways to make it harder for companies to avoid scrutiny and expand transparency laws to cover the public sector.
‘Modern slavery reaches into every corner of our lives – in the clothes we wear, the food we eat, the services we pay for,’ Mrs May will say.
‘Yet for many years it seldom captured the world’s attention or outrage – allowing those who trade in human misery to quietly continue their work and allowing all of us to look the other way as we benefited from the forced labour of this growing underclass.
‘Throughout my time in government – first as my country’s home secretary, more recently as its Prime Minister – I have fought to change that.’
Mrs May will argue it is ‘more important than ever’ to ‘accelerate’ the fight against modern slavery and ‘do all that we can to meet the UN’s goal of ending this abhorrent crime by 2030’.