For only the second time in history, a husband stood next to his wife as she became the leader of the United Kingdom. Philip May looked on as his wife Theresa May took over from David Cameron Wednesday, becoming the British prime minister with the unenviable task of guiding the U.K. through an exit from the European Union.
Philip May’s possible business connections have already raised questions as his wife prepares to take on tax evading companies. Philip May works as a senior executive at the Capital Group, an investment fund that manages $1.4 trillion, including from companies that have been known to get creative to avoid taxes, the Independent reported. He works as a pension fund expert out of the company’s London office and has no involvement in “investment research or portfolio management activities,” the company said.
The fund manages $20 billion of shares in Amazon and Starbucks. Theresa May cited both Amazon and Starbucks in remarks made Monday on cracking down on tax avoidance.
“We need to talk about tax. It doesn’t matter to me whether you’re Amazon, Google or Starbucks: you have a duty to put something back, you have a debt to your fellow citizens, you have a responsibility to pay your taxes,” Theresa May said this week. “So as prime minister, I will crack down on individual and corporate tax avoidance and evasion.”
The Mays have been married for 36 years and do not have children, the BBC reported. British press have already made comparisons between Philip May and Denis Thatcher, the husband to the U.K.’s first female leader Margaret Thatcher, predicting that he will be content avoiding the spotlight but will be an important private voice.
Like his wife, Philip May attended Oxford University where he studied history. The couple met at a Conservative Association disco at Oxford in 1976 when they were introduced by Benazir Bhutto, who would go on to become the prime minister of Pakistan, the BBC reported. Philip May was president of the Oxford Union, a position that has been held by students aspiring to careers in politics.
The couple married in 1980. Theresa May, who generally has remained guarded about sharing details regarding her personal life, recently told BBC Radio 4 that Philip had been a “huge support” to her when her parents died and that she was sad the two could not have children together.