UK Prime Minister Theresa May announced that she would resign as Conservative Party leader on June 7 but that she would stay in office as prime minister until a new leader was chosen, in a statement from outside Downing Street on Friday.
“I am today announcing that I will resign as leader of the Conservative and Unionist Party on Friday the 7th of June so that a successor can be chosen,” said May.
“I will continue to serve as her prime minister until the process has concluded,” she added.The prime minister said in conclusion that “I will shortly leave the job that it has been the honour of my life to hold. The second female prime minister but certainly not the last. I do so with no ill will but with enormous and enduring gratitude to have had the opportunity to serve the country I love.”
On Tuesday May announced a new version of her Brexit deal which had been rejected three times in the House of Commons. The new plans included proposals for a vote on a second refendum that proved extremely unpopular within the Conservative Party with several ministers coming out against them, while the Leader of the House of Commons Andrea Leadsom resigned in protest. Former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is currently the frontrunner to succeed May, other likely candidates include former Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab and Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt.
May took office in July 2016 after then prime minister David Cameron resigned following the unexpected result of the Brexit referendum. May subsequently committed her government to carrying out Brexit and called a snap election in March 2017 that saw her lose her parliamentary majority, that forced her to rely on the votes of Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).
The prime minister had earlier committed to stepping down if parliament finally passed her Brexit deal but she still failed to achieve a majority at the third attempt in March.
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