Europe

UK leader May vows centrist govt after EU exit 'revolution'

  • Britain's Prime Minister, Theresa May, in her hotel room in Birmingham, central England, Tuesday Oct. 4, 2016, as she prepares her conference speech that she will deliver to the Conservative party conference being held at the ICC in Birmingham. (Carl Court/PA via AP)

    Britain's Prime Minister, Theresa May, in her hotel room in Birmingham, central England, Tuesday Oct. 4, 2016, as she prepares her conference speech that she will deliver to the Conservative party conference being held at the ICC in Birmingham. (Carl Court/PA via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Conservative Party Leader and Prime Minister, Theresa May, addresses delegates at the Conservative Party Conference at the ICC, in Birmingham, England, Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2016. May has vowed to govern from the "center ground" of politics, a day after her government alarmed liberals by saying that businesses should prioritize hiring British workers over foreign ones. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

    Conservative Party Leader and Prime Minister, Theresa May, addresses delegates at the Conservative Party Conference at the ICC, in Birmingham, England, Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2016. May has vowed to govern from the "center ground" of politics, a day after her government alarmed liberals by saying that businesses should prioritize hiring British workers over foreign ones. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)  (The Associated Press)

  • Conservative Party Leader and Prime Minister Theresa May addresses delegates during a speech at the Conservative Party Conference at the ICC, in Birmingham, England, Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2016. May has vowed to govern from the "center ground" of politics, a day after her government alarmed liberals by saying that businesses should prioritize hiring British workers over foreign ones. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

    Conservative Party Leader and Prime Minister Theresa May addresses delegates during a speech at the Conservative Party Conference at the ICC, in Birmingham, England, Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2016. May has vowed to govern from the "center ground" of politics, a day after her government alarmed liberals by saying that businesses should prioritize hiring British workers over foreign ones. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)  (The Associated Press)

British Prime Minister Theresa May has vowed to govern from the "center ground" of politics, a day after her government alarmed liberals by saying that businesses should prioritize hiring British workers over foreign ones.

May closed the Conservative Party's annual conference Wednesday with a speech that called the June 23 vote to leave the European Union "a quiet revolution" by millions who had not benefited from globalization and rapid economic change.

In a change of tone from predecessor David Cameron — who combined social liberalism with fiscal austerity and light-touch economic regulation — May attacked corporate bosses who dodge tax and raid employees' pension funds.

She signaled she would take a more interventionist economic approach than some of her Conservative predecessors, saying "government can and should be a force for good."