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Speaking, a memoir or consultancy work: What next for Theresa May?

Previous prime ministers have found several ways to capitalise on their time in power.

There are several paths open to Theresa May now she has announced she will step down, if her predecessors are anything to go by (PA)
There are several paths open to Theresa May now she has announced she will step down, if her predecessors are anything to go by (PA)

Theresa May has announced her departure as Prime Minister – paving the way for a long and profitable career off the back of it.

That is if some of her predecessors are anything to go by.

After-dinner speaking, penning a memoir and well-remunerated consultancy work are all options for the departing premier.

She will remain as a Member of Parliament for Maidenhead for the foreseeable future, which will limit some of the jobs she can take, but a look at past prime ministers reveals some possible options for the future.

David Cameron, who Mrs May replaced, was also forced out by Brexit, stepping down after the bombshell referendum result in 2016.

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David Cameron has written a memoir (Hannah McKay/PA)

He also resigned as the MP for Witney soon after.

This departure enabled him to fork out a reported £25,000 on a 16ft by 7ft “shepherd’s hut” for his Oxfordshire garden.

Whether Mrs May intends to buy such a hut is unclear, but the expensive shack became the base for Mr Cameron to pen his autobiography, For The Record, which is scheduled for publication on September 19.

Writing a memoir is a staple move for most departing prime ministers and something Mrs May will likely consider.

Mr Cameron also bagged himself a very profitable job on the speaking circuit, which can earn charismatic candidates six figures for each appearance.

That was also a path followed by the last Labour prime minister, Tony Blair.

Mr Blair stepped down in 2007 and became a Middle East envoy. He also took a job at JPMorgan Chase, the investment bank, which some estimated paid more than £500,000 per year.

But it was his reported earnings from lectures which made some of the biggest headlines and prompted the suggestion he was the highest paid speaker in the world.

Mrs May is not likely to be remembered as one of the greatest orators to hold the office but the expertise of any former prime minister is highly sought after.

Gordon Brown, the successor to Mr Blair, carved out a slightly more modest path after his resignation in 2010.

He remained an MP for a further five years, during which time he was a strong advocate for Scotland to remain part of the United Kingdom during the 2014 independence referendum.

Mr Brown also took an advisory role at the World Economic Forum and was named a UN Special Envoy on global education – both unpaid.

Like Mr Blair, he has also continued to add his voice to political debate since stepping down as an MP, most recently in the build up to the European elections.

Cast our minds back further and John Major, the Tory prime minister who succeeded Margaret Thatcher, also profited from after-dinner speaking.

He also took several advisory and think tank roles – as well as pursuing his passion for cricket with leading roles at Surrey County Cricket Club and Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC).

PA

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