theresa may
Prime Minister Theresa May walks in a forest with her husband Philip at the start of a summer holiday in the Alps in Switzerland in August, 2016 Getty

Theresa May is to take a three-week holiday in the Alps with her husband, Number 10 has said.

The prime minister will start her break on Monday (24 July), days after Parliament pauses for the summer recess.

She will travel with husband Philip to northern Italy, where the couple will spend five days before breaking off their holiday to attend commemorations of the centenary of the Battle of Passchendaele in Belgium.

The pair will then resume their summer break by travelling to the Swiss Alps for another two weeks, before returning to Downing Street on 14 August.

A No 10 spokesperson told The Independent she will "remain in charge" throughout her absence – bucking a trend of previous prime ministers who leave a cabinet minister nominally in charge.

May was said to be "looking forward to her holiday" after a "productive and busy" week of government business, which included announcements on the extension of HS2 to reforms on the state pension age.

The couple are known for their love of hiking and holidayed in the Swiss Alps last year in August.

But it was during their last break in Snowdonia at Easter that May decided to hold a snap election.

It was a decision that resulted in a disastrous election for the Tories, which lost them their majority in Parliament.

"I think there are many people who are grateful I'm going to the Alps and not to Wales again," May joked on LBC radio this week.

The election result, which forced May into a coalition government with the DUP, has led to uncertainty over her leadership and Conservative Party in-fighting.

May's government has also had to prepare for tough negotiations with the EU over Brexit.

Asked on LBC what voters could expect when she returned from her summer hiking trip, she replied: "Well you'll just have to wait and see won't you?"