The image below is getting lots of attention on social media (Twitter)

It's pretty damning, but is it accurate?

Theresa May

  • In the US in political attack ads they write down sources for their statements. But I guess random tweets can be anything at all, no sources required.
    – GEdgar
    Oct 28, 2016 at 12:36
  • 1
    One thing this omits is that Theresa May is a conservative MP, and was therefore obliged to vote the party line (parliament.uk/about/mps-and-lords/principal/whips). Also she was a cabinet minister during these votes, and the principle of collective responsibility means that she had to vote with the government regardless of how she felt about these issues. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cabinet_collective_responsibility. So her voting history doesn't tell you anything about her actual opinions or how her government will act on these issues. Oct 30, 2016 at 18:37

2 Answers 2


Ok, this could get long so I'm not sure I can cover every single statement on the right, but let's try.

I believe @pete the pagan-gerbil's answer answers better in spirit but this is Skeptics so let's go on what are technically correct statements. I'm going to go on the basis of whether she ever voted against/for those things at least once but will try to link the parent debate for context.

Provisional answer: No, not entirely correct.

Left side:

The claim has accurate quotes but each sentence is separate:

know you’re working around the clock, I know you’re doing your best, and I know that sometimes life can be a struggle. The government I lead will be driven not by the interests of the privileged few, but by yours.

We will do everything we can to give you more control over your lives.

We will do everything we can to give you more control over your lives. When we take the big calls, we’ll think not of the powerful, but you. When we pass new laws, we’ll listen not to the mighty but to you. When it comes to taxes, we’ll prioritise not the wealthy, but you. When it comes to opportunity, we won’t entrench the advantages of the fortunate few. We will do everything we can to help anybody, whatever your background, to go as far as your talents will take you.

Right side:

Banking reforms in 2013

11 Dec 2013

Financial Services (Banking Reform) Bill — Daily Information Exchange With Credit Reference Agencies by Those Offering High-Cost Short-Term Credit

Her vote: no (twice)

Claim is correct.


8 Jul 2013

Financial Services (Banking Reform) Bill — New Clause 4 — Duty of Care for Ring-Fenced Retail Banking Divisions


Her vote: no

Claim is correct.

Financial Services (Banking Reform) Bill — New Clause 9 — Financial Sector — Target Ratio of Liabilities to Assets — Role of Bank of England


Her vote: no

Claim is correct.

Financial Services (Banking Reform) Bill — Clause 4 — Full Separation of Ring-Fenced Retail Banking Activities


Her vote: no

Claim is correct.

Energy bills 2013

Opposition Day — Living Standards — Energy Prices and Profits — 4 Sep 2013 at 18:49 Theresa May MP, Maidenhead voted against proposed reforms to the energy market; against creating a new energy regulator and against putting all over-75s on the cheapest tariff.

Her vote: no

Claim is correct.

Tax on income over 150K

The statement we're addressing is the claim that she voted against increasing the tax rate applied to people earning over 150K.

Being very strict this isn't technically true.

In spirit the statement is correct but her voting record indicates she never technically voted against increasing the tax rate applied to people earning over 150K. Rather she voted for decreasing it.

I suspect the person making the image based it on the summary on this page rather than a specific vote.

She was absent for most votes related to this issue.

In 2012 she voted for decreasing the tax rate from 50% to 45% on income over 150K.

Procedure (Future Taxation: Rates of Income Tax) – in the House of Commons at 10:28 pm on 26th March 2012.


In 2012 she voted for a reduction in the additional rate of income tax, which applies to income over £150k, from 50% to 45%. This passed.


Her vote: Yes

Claim is technically incorrect.

Proposal to reduce income tax avoidance April 2016

Labour’s Tax Transparency Enforcement Programme

13th April 2016


She voted: no

Combating abusive tax avoidance arrangements

Bank of England and Financial Services Bill [Lords] – in the House of Commons at 5:00 pm on 19th April 2016.


She voted: no

Claim is correct.

Building 100,000 affordable homes in 2013.

This one is unclear.

There were 126 commons votes in which she voted in early 2013.

There is a vote which sort of fits though I can't guarantee that there isn't another with a misleading title.

I'm going to call this true because she voted against building some unspecified number of thousands of homes and the relevant debate references an earlier plan to build 100K homes.

Opposition Day — Bring Forward Infrastructure Investment Including New Homes — 12 Feb 2013 at 18:46

In the debate an earlier debate from 2012 about building 100k homes is referenced and the item includes " including building thousands more affordable homes" but doesn't say how many thousands.

Her vote: no

This claim is probably correct.

  • Can you explain how voting against the (making a?) report invalidates the claim that she voted against increasing the tax rate?
    – Oddthinking
    Oct 28, 2016 at 2:43
  • @Oddthinking I've found I'm incorrect, I was limiting my search to 2013 but she voted against in other years. Editing now to correct this.
    – Murphy
    Oct 28, 2016 at 9:40
  • @Oddthinking Upon more careful reading I've concluded that that claim is technically false. She voted for decreasing the tax rate, not against increasing it.
    – Murphy
    Oct 28, 2016 at 11:05

From https://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/10426/theresa_may/maidenhead/votes

Banking reform: Unclear

Energy bills: Unclear

Higher rate tax: AGAINST

Tax avoidance: Unclear

Affordable homes: Unclear

Jobs for young people/bankers tax: looks like AGAINST

Higher disability benefit: AGAINST

Mansion tax: Unclear

Bedroom tax: FOR

There is a full breakdown of vote history here: http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/mp.php?id=uk.org.publicwhip/member/41113&showall=yes#divisions, I'll try and get the time to look through in more detail later (but feel free to edit in the answer if you find it before that)

  • What about the left side?
    – Sklivvz
    Oct 26, 2016 at 10:21
  • 4
    While TheyWorkForYou is a good source for underlying details, I think a bit of analysis of the categorisation and descriptions is warranted; we are here to be skeptical, after all. For instance, "voted against jobs for young people" sounds bad; "voted against a debate raised by the opposition asking the government to completely reverse their economic policy" sounds rather unsurprising.
    – IMSoP
    Oct 26, 2016 at 11:45
  • 1
    @Sklivvz Source for left side:gov.uk/government/speeches/… Each sentence is a direct quote from her first statement as Prime Minister
    – Murphy
    Oct 26, 2016 at 18:14

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