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Theresa May to speak at Gibunco Gibraltar International Literary Festival

Former prime minister Theresa May signs her book during the Conservative Party annual conference at the Manchester Central convention complex early October. Photo by Stefan Rousseau/PA

Former UK Prime Minister Theresa May will be visiting Gibraltar as a guest speaker at the Gibunco Gibraltar International Literary Festival, the Gibraltar Government announced on Tuesday.

Theresa May served as Prime Minister from 2016 to 2019 having previously been Home Secretary for six years, and worked closely with the Gibraltar Government during the turbulent three years following the Brexit referendum.

She met with Chief Minister Fabian Picardo on several occasions, including just before she was sworn in as Prime Minister, and in 2018 addressed the Gibraltar reception at the Conservative part conference, where she said: “We have Gibraltar’s interests at heart.”

When she resigned in June 2019, Mr Picardo praised her work as Prime Minister during the unprecedented upheaval in Westminster politics as a result of Brexit.

“When many others would have been cowed by the impossible odds, the daunting headlines and the impenetrable politics of Brexit, she has ploughed on without complaint,” he said at the time.

“When many others would have quit, she has soldiered on.”

“When many others would have been defeated, she survived week after week, month after month, year after year.”

“Whilst many armchair generals stood by to criticise her and her team, none had the courage she had to take on the Commission and the EU27 as she repeatedly has.”

And when it came to Gibraltar, Mr Picardo said: “She was steadfast in our defence and rock solid in her resolve that we would be included in any Withdrawal Agreement that she might finally propose.”

“Her resolve and support gave us the confidence and the ability to negotiate directly with Spain for the first time in our history and to reach landmark, historic agreements for the benefit of our people and our nation.”

“From the moment she was Home Secretary and we first worked together on Gibraltar matters, I have considered Theresa May a friend.”

“I look forward to welcoming her to Gibraltar whenever she wants to visit a nation that will always give her a warm welcome, will always recognise the thankless job she did as Prime Minister and will always remember her as an unwavering friend.”

The former Prime Minister will share insights from her book ‘The Abuse of Power’, which explores issues during her time in office 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.

“From the Hillsborough and Grenfell tragedies, to the Daniel Morgan case and parliamentary scandals, the powerful repeatedly chose to use their power not in the interests of the powerless but to serve themselves or to protect the organisation to which they belonged,” the book’s blurb reads.

“The Abuse of Power is a searing exposé of injustice and an impassioned call to exercise power for the greater good.”

“Drawing on examples from domestic and international affairs she was personally involved in at the highest level, including Stop and Search and the Salisbury Poisonings, the former Prime Minister argues for a radical rethink in how we approach our politics and public life.”

The former Prime Minister is the latest speaker for an event that has over the years earned a reputation for bringing together world-renowned authors, thinkers and leaders to engage in meaningful conversations on a wide range of topics.

“I am delighted that Lady May will be coming to Gibraltar to speak at our prestigious Gibunco Gibraltar International Literary Festival,” Mr Picardo said on Tuesday.

“Lady May is a great friend of Gibraltar who worked very closely with us during her time as both Home Secretary and Prime Minister.”

“I look forward to welcoming Lady May to Gibraltar and listening to her talk on her book ‘The Abuse of Power’.”

The former Prime Minister will speak on Saturday November 18 at 11:00am from Grand Battery House.

Tickets for the event can be purchased online via or directly from the Box Office at the Garrison Library, open every weekday from 10.00 – 16.00.

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