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Britain’s May set to name resignation date

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Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May arrives to vote in the European Parliament elections in Sonning, west of London, on May 23, 2019. – Voting got under way in Britain early on Thursday in elections to the European Parliament — a contest the country had not expected to hold nearly three years after the Brexit referendum. (Photo by Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP)

Beleaguered British Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to announce on Friday when she will resign, according to reports, following a Conservative Party mutiny over her remaining in power.

May is set to meet the leader of backbench lawmakers in the governing party and agree a timetable to stand down and allow a successor to be chosen.

The leader of the party automatically becomes the prime minister.

Multiple media reports said she intends to resign as leader of the Conservative Party within weeks but continue as caretaker prime minister until the party elects a new leader.

That internal election process will likely start on June 10, the BBC reported, citing senior cabinet sources.

The humiliating spectacle of the prime minister detailing her departure date follows a toxic response to her latest Brexit plan this week from cabinet colleagues and Tory MPs.

May has previously said she would step aside once a Brexit deal had been passed by parliament and launched a fresh bid Tuesday for lawmakers to vote on it in early June.

The government has now postponed that vote.

MPs have already overwhelmingly rejected her EU divorce plan, agreed with European leaders last year, three times.

Her latest proposals, which included giving them the option of choosing to hold a referendum on the deal, prompted a furious reaction among Conservatives.

Pressure intensified on May after Andrea Leadsom — one of the cabinet’s strongest Brexit backers — resigned on Wednesday from her post as the government’s representative in parliament.

In her resignation letter Leadsom told the prime minister she no longer believed that her approach would deliver on the 2016 referendum result to leave the EU.

Amid months of political paralysis over Brexit, the clamour for May to stand down has been growing and intensified after disastrous results in the May 2 English local elections.

The Conservatives are expected to fare similarly badly in this week’s European Parliament elections when the results are announced late Sunday.


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