Attempting to Secure a Sympathetic Press: May and the Media

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The purpose of this chapter is to consider the nature of relationship between Theresa May and the media. May was arguably fortunate at the beginning of her premiership since the Labour Party was distracted with its own infighting and Jeremy Corbyn proved to be a poor Commons performer, yet the media coverage of the 2017 general election upset this status quo by exposing May as a poor rhetorical performer. May’s deliberative oratory stands in some contrast to her epideictic speeches, where she seemed much more comfortable and relaxed on the grounds that she would not be challenged since they formed part of the rhetorical rituals that characterised governing rather than electioneering, the former of which was more interesting to May than the latter. The disaster of the 2017 general election only contributed to her failure at public communication, since the very rebellious backbenchers she had hoped to drown out with a large Conservative majority became key opponents whose attacks she had to fend off in the Commons and in the media. This chapter interrogates these issues alongside her rhetorical and oratorical styles.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStatecraft
Subtitle of host publicationPolicies and Politics under Prime Minister Theresa May
EditorsAndrew Roe-Crines, David Jeffery
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages66
ISBN (Print)9783031324710
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jul 2023

Publication series

Name Palgrave Studies in Political Leadership
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
ISSN (Print)2947-5821
ISSN (Electronic)2947-583X

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