May 'was battered' by arrest row
Theresa May has admitted she was left battered and bruised after the furious backlash when MPs were denied an explicit vote on the controversial European Arrest Warrant (EAW) and indicated she should have handled it differently.
The Home Secretary came in for intense criticism over the parliamentary fudge but denied claims it was "smoke and mirrors".
MPs were furious when it became apparent that the motion for debate last week did not make specific reference to the arrest warrant despite ministers' promises that the vote would be on the EU extradition system.
The intensely private Conservative Cabinet minister made the admission on Radio 4's Desert Island Discs, where she gave a glimpse into her personal life.
Mrs May's decision to appear on the show has prompted speculation that it is part of a strategy to bolster her profile in advance of a potential future leadership bid.
Asked about the claims, she replied: "No, it is genuinely about a huge opportunity to do a programme that, sadly, I don't get to hear these days as often as I might have done in the past but I think has become an integral part of British life."
Mrs May, who revealed she survives on five or six hours sleep, was asked if she would consider standing in the future, she said: "My view is very simple, David Cameron is a first class leader of the party and a first class prime minister and I hope he is going to be doing that for a very long time."
Pressed on whether it was a job she would like to do, she replied: "I'm saying that I hope that David Cameron is going to carry on being the leader of the party for a very long time."
Mrs May admitted she had not expected the backlash prompted by the EAW debate but insisted "there was no sense in which I was trying smoke and mirrors".
"If I was starting it again now, would I do it in a different way given the understanding about how Parliament felt? Perhaps I would," she said.
"I think Parliament was very clear that they wanted a vote on the European Arrest Warrant and maybe if we were starting again we should look at that."
Asked if she had felt battered and bruised afterwards and had gone home to lick her wounds, she replied: "Yes. I mean the debate had gone in a slightly different direction from the one I was expecting it to. I felt that politics is a world of ups and downs and, you know, the votes had been won."
The Home Secretary told how her husband, Philip, helped her get through the tragic death of her father, the Reverend Hubert Brasier, in a car accident in 1981, and the loss of her mother just months after.
"He was a real rock for me. He has been all the time we've been married but particularly then, of course, being faced with that, the loss of both parents within a relatively short space of time," she said.
Mrs May said she is still practising member of the Anglican church but said it was "right that we don't flaunt these things here in British politics".
The fashion-conscious politician, known for her love of kitten heel shoes and designer outfits, said she said "enjoys" clothes and chose a lifetime's subscription to Vogue as her luxury item to take to the desert island.
Mrs May, who has more than 100 cookbooks, reiterated her previous criticism of Delia Smith, saying her recipes were too "precise" and expressed a preference for Jamie Oliver.
Among the discs she picked was ABBA's Dancing Queen, so she has something to "jig up and down to".
She also chose Walk Like a Man, from the musical Jersey Boys and the "Compassionate Society" extract from comedy Yes Minister as well as Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice as her choice of book.