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UK's May says inequality drives voters to extremist 'fringe'

Associated Press logo Associated Press 9/01/2017
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May speaks to members of the Charity Commission for England and Wales at The Royal Society in London, where she detailed plans to provide greater support for those suffering mental health problems, Monday Jan. 9, 2017. (Dan Kitwood/Pool via AP) © The Associated Press Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May speaks to members of the Charity Commission for England and Wales at The Royal Society in London, where she detailed plans to provide greater support for those suffering mental health problems, Monday Jan. 9, 2017. (Dan Kitwood/Pool via AP)

LONDON — British Prime Minister Theresa May says mainstream politicians must address the insecurity and inequality spawned by globalization or see voters turn to "fringe" voices on the left and right.

May says the "politics of division and despair" is spreading across Europe because centrist politicians have failed to ensure that the benefits of free markets are distributed widely.

She says that when people "lose their jobs or their wages stagnate or their dreams such as owning a home seem out of reach," they come to regard globalization as serving "the privileged few."

May used a speech Monday to sketch her vision of a "shared society" that stresses bonds of family, community and citizenship.

The language is in contrast to previous Conservative leaders, who have usually stressed individual freedom and small government.

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