For the first time since becoming the British prime minister last July, Theresa May has announced her vision of what a Conservative government will look like under her rule.

Since taking on the premiership, May has been dogged-down by Britain's future relationship with the European Union, but on Sunday (8 January) she has set out what her domestic agenda will be.

Distancing herself from predecessor David Cameron's "big society" and rejecting Margaret Thatcher's view that "there's no such thing as society", the Tory leader has vowed to build a "shared society".

Writing in the Sunday Telegraph and defining the shared society, May said: "A society that doesn't just value our individual rights, but focuses rather more on the responsibilities we have to one another; a society that respects the bonds of family, community, citizenship and strong institutions that we share as a union of people and nations; a society with a commitment to fairness at its heart.

"This must be the cause that animates us – the end towards which we work as we leave the EU and make the most of the opportunities ahead. It is the right response to those who voted for change back in June.

"And it goes to the heart of my belief that there is more to life than individualism and self-interest. The social and the cultural unions represented by families, communities, towns, cities, counties and nations are the things that define us and make us strong.

"And it is the job of government to encourage and nurture these relationships and institutions where it can, and to correct the injustice and unfairness that divides us wherever it is found.

"So, as we move through this period of great change for our nation, this government will seize the opportunity to build the shared society by embracing genuine and wide-ranging social reform."

However, unlike focussing on the poorest in society, May said she intended to shift the focus to "those just above the threshold that typically attracts the government's focus" – a class of people labelled as "just about managing" (Jams) in Chancellor Philip Hammond's autumn statement.

May's proposed vision of Britain comes immediately after the British Red Cross warned the National Health Service (NHS) was facing a "humanitarian crisis" after chronic underfunding.

The prime minister rejected that claim, but was widely criticised on social media for an apparently contradictory stance to the "shared society" she proposed.