REMEMBER WHEN: The Advertiser interviews new Maidenhead MP Theresa May in 1997

Welcome to Remember when..., which sees assistant editor Nicola Hine take a weekly look back through our archives, spanning nearly 150 years, to bring you snapshots from Maidenhead's past.

Nicola Hine


It is almost 20 years since the newly formed Maidenhead parliamentary seat was filled by a former London councillor who we now know will be our next Prime Minister. Here is a look back at the Advertiser's first post-1997 general election interview with Theresa May MP.

On the night of the election Mrs May swept to a resounding victory in Maidenhead.

She picked up 25,344 votes, or 49.8 per cent, giving her a majority of 11,981 votes.

Speaking to the Advertiser, she said she thought distrust of Labour over the economy was key to the town remaining loyal to the Conservatives.

She also felt voters thought she was the candidate most committed to Maidenhead.

Speaking about her new role she said: “It’s very exciting and also quite daunting because being an MP is quite unlike any other job and particularly as we are now in opposition (Tony Blair’s Labour government won the General Election). It’s going to be important to get one’s feet under the table fairly quickly.”

When asked about her party’s campaign she admitted it had made errors and the result could not be blamed solely on divisions over Europe.

Maidenhead was the third constituency Mrs May, then 40, had stood for, having been unsuccessful in Durham and Barking previously.

“I wanted to get involved to make a difference, contributing to the national debate,” she said. “But I also want the work at the constituency level because that’s an area where an MP can help.”

She said she was aware of her responsibilities and added: “I will work hard and do my best to fulfil the

expectations placed on me.”

The Maidenhead seat was formed from parts of the Windsor and Maidenhead and Wokingham areas.

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