Theresa May publishing book on loss of trust in politicians

Former Prime Minister Theresa May is to publish a book exposing injustice in public institutions, it has been announced. Set to come out this September, it will argue for a “radical rethink in how we approach our politics and public life.”

The book, the first by Mrs May since leaving No. 10 in 2019, will be called The Abuse of Power.

Theresa May will use the publication to confront a “series of issues in which the abuse of power led to devastating results for individuals and significantly damaged the reputation of, and trust in, public institutions and politicians”.

In January 2019, while still PM, an Edelman poll found that just 35 percent of the British public trusted Mrs May to “do what is right”.

The book announcement notably fails to mention Brexit, which Mrs May spent three years failing to deliver after the 2016 referendum.

During her time at the top of Government, not least as Home Secretary, Mrs May oversaw Government responses to the Hillsborough Inquests Verdicts, the Grenfell fire tragedy, launching an independent inquiry into the murder of Daniel Morgan and dealing with parliamentary scandals.

Mrs May will argue that the powerful have repeatedly chosen to use their power “not in the interests of the powerless but to serve themselves or protect the organisation to which they belong.”

The announcement about Mrs May’s book deal comes just two months after it was revealed Boris Johnson has also signed a book deal with HarperCollins to write his memoirs of No. 10.

It is thought Mrs May’s successor as Prime Minister could make up to £1million pounds from his deal, which is advertised to be “a Prime Ministerial memoir like no other.”

Mrs May is yet to write a memoir of her own, though told the Henley literary festival in 2019 that it was “not something I have thought about”.

She said: “I didn’t step down and think I have got to write a book. It is not something I feel naturally I want to do. It has been suggested to me that people involved in significant events should write about them so that historians in the future can look back and see what those at the centre of events were thinking.

“It is not something I am rushing to do. There was not really time to keep a diary!”

Launching her book today, Mrs May said our democracy “depends on people having trust in their public institutions and politicians”.

She said: “I am delighted to be working with Headline as the accounts I give in this book show how that trust has been eroded over time and why we need to act.”

Jonathan Lloyd of literary agency Curtis Brown says the book is “thought-provoking” and will “strike a real chord with readers and provoke useful debate.”

Mrs May joins a long line of MPs publishing books in recent years, with the Spectator noting a particular uptick thanks to the 2020 lockdowns.

Diane Abbott, Mark Francois, Lisa Nanny, Andrew Mitchell, Ed Miliband and Jesse Norman are just some of the parliamentarians to have taken to book writing over the last couple of years.

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In 2015 Boris Johnson was paid an £88,000 advance for a biography of William Shakespeare, following the success of his biography of Winston Churchill.

The Shakespeare biography had initially been scheduled for 2016, to coincide with the 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death, however by the time he entered No. 10 it still hadn’t been written.

In June 2021 it emerged a Shakespearean expert had been approached by Boris’s literary agency to provide the content for the book, as Mr Johnson continued focusing his efforts on the top job.

Speaking to his local paper anonymously the Shakespeare expert claimed he was asked to “semi-dictate” the book.

In May 2021 The Sunday Times alleged that Boris had missed COBR meetings about Coronavirus at the start of 2020 because he’d been too busy writing his Shakespeare biography, “the money from which he needed to fund his divorce” from his then-wife Marina Wheeler.

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