Theresa May to step down on June 7
Johnson, Corbyn React
British Prime Minister (PM), Theresa May, is to step down as leader of the ruling Conservative party as well as from her position on May 7, this year.
This follows her inability to chart a way forward in negotiations with her party members, the British parliament and the European Union (EU) in the Brexit agenda, leaving the fate of the country hanging.
Making her resignation speech, May, the second female prime minister of the United Kingdom (UK), after the late Margaret Thatcher, said: “It is now clear to me that it is in the best interest of the UK for a new PM to lead that effort.“I am today announcing that I will resign as Conservative leader on Friday, June 7. I have agreed with the party chairman that the process for electing a new leader will begin in the following week.”
Delivering her speech in front of Number 10 Downing Street, May added: “Ever since I first stepped through the door behind me as PM, I have striven to make the UK work, not just for a privileged few, but for everyone and to honour the result of the referendum.“I negotiated the terms of our exit. I have done everything I can to convince MPs to back that deal. Sadly, I have not been able to do so.
“It is a matter of deep regret that I have not been able to deliver Brexit. My successor will have to find a consensus. Consensus will only be possible if those on both sides of the debate ‘compromise.”
The leader of the Conservative Party said it has been the honour of her life to serve as prime minister, breaking down in tears as she uttered those words.“Our politics may be under strain, but there is so much that is good about this country, so much to be proud of.
“I will shortly leave the job that it has been the honour of my life to hold,” said May, who succeeded David Cameron in July 2016 after the Brexit vote, has been battling hard to get the British parliament to agree to her Brexit deal for the UK to quit the EU.
She said she had “done my best” to honour the 2016 EU referendum result, where Britons voted to leave the EU, noting that it would remain a matter of “deep regret” that she had been unable to deliver Brexit. She said it was “in the best interests of the country” to get a new prime minister, as her exit would pave the way for the ruling party, otherwise known as Tory, to choose a new leader who would assume office as prime minister.
In his quick reaction to May’s decision, one of her rivals and main challenger within the Conservative party, Boris Johnson, who was one time her Foreign Minister, tweeted: “A very dignified statement from @theresa_may.
“Thank you for your stoical service to our country and the Conservative Party. It is now time to follow her urgings: to come together and deliver Brexit.”Johnson is a strong contender and fovourire to succeed her on the job.
Leader of the opposition Labour Party and one of her greatest critics, Jeremy Corbyn, also tweeted: “Theresa May is right to resign. She’s now accepted what the country’s known for months: she can’t govern, and nor can her divided and disintegrating party. “Whoever becomes the new Tory leader must let the people decide our country’s future, through an immediate General Election.”