UK Politics

Rise in selfie requests a surprise for Theresa May

Theresa May at the Conservative conference Image copyright EPA
Image caption There are plenty of selfie openings when the PM's sat behind you...

Theresa May says she has been surprised by the number of selfie requests she has had since becoming prime minister.

She told BBC One's Breakfast she had been asked to pose for a lot more than when she was home secretary.

"I do do quite a few of them but I can't manage to do all of them. I'm afraid time doesn't allow me."

David Cameron was a keen selfie participant but was criticised for joining Barack Obama for a snap at Nelson Mandela's memorial service.

Mrs May, who succeeded Mr Cameron in July, will make her debut leader's address to the Conservative conference on Wednesday.

Ahead of this, Mrs May - who has rarely spoken about her life outside politics - took part in the traditional pre-speech round of broadcast interviews where she was pressed on political and personal subjects ranging from Brexit to baking.

Scones and shoes

Asked what the biggest difference she had noticed since about becoming prime minister she said she seemed "to be asked to do a lot more selfies these days".

"There have been quite a few selfies here at the party conference, as you can imagine."

On ITV's Good Morning Britain, Mrs May was asked about her recipe for scones - details of which she shared in a newspaper interview on Sunday - and her collection of shoes.

Image copyright PA
Image caption But can she compete with her foreign secretary when it comes to selfies?
Image copyright PA
Image caption Her predecessor was also very obliging
Image copyright AFP
Image caption Even though it sometimes got him into trouble

Mrs May, who says she likes to relax by cooking and hill walking, told the Sunday Times over the weekend that she had used both butter and margarine to make scones in the past - a technique which got a rise among some home bakers on social media.

She told ITV she didn't make scones so often since being diagnosed with diabetes but said using hard butter was best: "You have to rub it in with the flour. It's often easier if it's hard, you can get a good rub in. If it's too soft it starts to become a bit claggy."

Mrs May, who famously wore a pair of leopard print kitten heels when addressing a Conservative conference in opposition, said she was often amused by the amount of press coverage her choice of footwear attracted.

"It is interesting people focus on my shoes. I don't think they focus on Philip Hammond's or Boris Johnson's in quite the same way. Do I regret the fact that people look at my shoes? Hey, it gives me an excuse to go and buy new shoes."

And interviewed on LBC Radio, Mrs May was asked about former colleague Ken Clarke's description of her as a "bloody difficult woman".

"I stand by doing what I believe to be the right thing," she replied. "If standing up for what you believe to be right is being 'bloody difficult', then so be it."

Questioned about her political ambitions on Radio 4's Today, Mrs May says she could not remember declaring as a teenager that she wanted to be prime minister - as some old friends have said - but added that she decided from an early age to be an MP to "make a difference" to people's lives.

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