Theresa May has told how not having children has been “very sad” but said her Christian faith had helped her to cope.
In a rare glimpse into her personal life, the Prime Minister spoke of the impact the death of her father had on her when she was a newly wed.
But instead of losing her faith, Mrs May insisted her beliefs had helped her to deal with the tragedies.
“Of course, we are not the only couple that finds ourselves in that situation and when you do I suppose you just get on with life. We’ve got nephews and nieces.”
Asked if she would have been able to devote so much of herself to work if she had children, Mrs May replied: “I look at some of my Parliamentary colleagues and people who have been in the Cabinet who had children and yes, they do apply themselves, they are just very well organised. I think that is the key thing.”
Mrs May was 25 when her father, the Rev Hugh Brasier, was killed in a car crash and her mother Zaidee died a few months later.
“It did have quite an impact on me,” she said. “I was very fortunate in that I had been married not that long beforehand and Philip has been a fantastic support for me. He really was my rock at that time.
“I was an only child so I didn’t have brothers and sisters that I could share it with. Suddenly, there I was without the two people who had brought me up and had meant so much to me throughout my life. It did have an impact and I think part of that impact was about reinforcing the belief in and importance of public service that I’d learned from my parents.
“I think my faith helped in just being a support there for me.”
When it was suggested the loss of her parents and realisation she would not become a mother might make her lose her faith, she replied: “No, because, it’s difficult to explain in simple words but actually the faith was there and did provide support for me through those difficult times.”
In the wide-ranging interview, the PM, a keen cook with more than 100 recipe books, revealed she would make slow-roasted lamb if US President Donald Trump was popping round for dinner.
“I might do something like a slow-roast shoulder of lamb. It’s making it really slow roast so it really falls off the bone. Absolutely gorgeous.”
Mrs May said she was getting “a lot less” than her standard five or six hours of sleep a night at the moment but was fortunate to be able to “sleep pretty well”.