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Theresa May officially appointed Britain's Prime Minister

She's officially the second female Prime Minister, after paying the traditional visit to Queen Elizabeth.

The new leader of the Conservative Party Theresa May (L) kneels as she is greeted by Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (R) at the start of an audience in Buckingham Palace in central London on July 13, 2016 where the Queen invited the former Home Secretary to become Prime Minister and form a new government. Theresa May became Britain's second female prime minister on July 13 charged with guiding the UK out of the European Union after a deeply devisive referendum campaign ended with Britain voting to leave and David Cameron resigning. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Theresa May has been confirmed the new British Prime Minister, after David Cameron officially tendered his resignation to the Queen today.

May is officially the second female Prime Minister, after paying the traditional visit to Queen Elizabeth.





The 59-year-old will be in charge of negotiating Britain's exit from the European Union.

This means that the complex process of extricating Britain from the EU will be led by someone who favoured a vote to remain in last month's membership referendum.

She has said Britain needs time to work out its negotiating strategy and should not initiate formal divorce proceedings before the end of the year, but has also emphasised that 'Brexit means Brexit', adding "we're going to make a success of it."

THERESA MAY HITS THE GROUND RUNNING

May is already facing a series of domestic and international challenges.

She is widely expected to announce key members of her new cabinet later this evening.

Her initial appointments to her Cabinet - thought to include the key roles of Home Secretary, Foreign Secretary and Chancellor - could offer early clues as to how the new Premier will seek to mend deep rifts in her ruling Conservative Party.

But as she looks to bridge the divide between those wanting to leave the EU and those who wished to remain, May is also set to face her first Prime Ministerial discussions this evening with her big-hitting international counterparts.

It's believed that telephone conversations have already been lined up with German leader Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande, with whom tough negotiations look certain over the coming months on Britain's EU exit.

UNITY TOPS MAY'S PRIORITY LIST

Theresa May says the country's unity is one of her government's top priorities.

May says her party will fight to keep the nation together.

"It means we believe in the union, the precious bond, between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Island."

The prime minister says the interests of all British citizens are important.

"It means something else that is just as important; it means we believe in a union not just between the nations of the United Kingdom but between all of our citizens, every one of us - whoever we are and wherever we are from."

May commended Cameron's leadership saying she plans to emulate his 'one nation government' approach.

From the introduction of same sex marriage, to taking people on low wages out of income tax altogether. David Cameron has led a 'one nation government'. It is in that spirit that I also plan to lead."

May is the second female prime minister after Margaret Thatcher.