Prime Minister Theresa May has announced she will step down as UK Prime Minister, after three bruising years that saw her fail to deliver Brexit.
May said Friday she would quit as leader of the Conservative Party on Friday June 7.
Her announcement triggers the start of a contest to replace her as Conservative leader and Prime Minister.
“I have done everything I can to convince MPs to back this deal,” May said of her attempts to pass a Brexit plan through Parliament.
“Sadly, I have not been able to do so — I tried three times,” she added. Her failure to do so will be her lasting legacy as prime minister.
“I believe it was right to persevere….it is now clear to me that it is in the best interest of the country for a new PM to lead that effort,” May said.
She held back tears throughout the speech, but her voice croaked and May was visibly tearful as she came to her conclusion.
“I will shortly leave the job that it has been the honor of my life to hold,” said British Prime Minister Theresa May in a tearful statement announcing her resignation
Theresa May is resigning as Conservative Party leader on June 7, but she’ll remain Prime Minister until a new leader of the Party has been elected.
It’s difficult to know how long that process will take. When May replaced David Cameron after he resigned in the wake of the 2016 Brexit referendum, the leadership election was accelerated because her final rival Andrea Leadsom dropped out.
With more candidates likely to run for the job, it’s possible the process could take longer — and May will remain as a lame duck leader for a few more weeks — a period in which US President Donald Trump will make a state visit to London.
May lists what she sees as some of her domestic achievements during her three years as Prime Minister, and reminds reporters that she was the second female UK prime minister — but not the last.
“Our politics may be under strain, but there is so much that is good about this country.” She adds that she is leaving with no ill will.
She says it has been the honor of her life to hold the post of prime minister, holding back tears and choking up at the end of her statement as she says she has served the country she loves.
She leaves the lectern and returns to Downing Street. That’s the end of her statement.
A number of May’s Cabinet members and colleagues are paying tribute to their boss after her emotional statement on the steps of 10 Downing Street. Amber Rudd, who has served as her Home Secretary and Work and Pensions Secretary, said she had shown “great courage.”
“I want to pay tribute to the PM today. Delivering Brexit was always going to be a huge task, but one she met every day with courage and resolve. NHS will have an extra £20bn thanks to her support, and she leaves the country safer and more secure. A true public servant,” Rudd said.