Theresa May Resigns

24 May 2019, 10:48

Boris Johnson Theresa May

Theresa May's fought back tears after confirming she's stepping down as Conservative leader on Friday the 7th of June.

The Prime Minister also talked about her "deep regret" she's not been able to deliver Brexit - that failure prompted her own MPs to call for her to quit.

She'll stay on as Prime Minister until a successor is elected by the Tory party.

Former Middle East Minister Alistair Burt said he could vote for Boris Johnson to take over from Theresa May.

When asked whether he could back Mr Johnson, he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "The answer to the question for almost all the candidates is yes.

"I would find it very difficult to support a candidate who said it was in Britain's best interest to leave with no deal, leave straight away, WTO...

"I don't expect any candidate really to say that."

Former chancellor Ken Clarke suggested the majority of Tory MPs did not support their own party in the European election.

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "I suspect the majority of Conservative MPs did not vote Conservative yesterday."

Following her resignation, Mrs Grant tweeted that she would be backing former Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab to replace Theresa May.

She tweeted: ".@DominicRaab has an inspiring vision for a fairer Britain and I think he is undoubtedly the best person to unite the Conservative Party and our Country. That is why I am proud to be supporting him to become our next Prime Minister. #ReadyforRaab"

Mrs Grant added: "I believe we need someone with the determination to fight for Britain to get a fairer deal from the EU. Dominic is perhaps uniquely placed to deliver this with his significant experience working on international treaties as a Foreign Office lawyer.

"I know he is a tough negotiator and that's why I'm backing Dominic Raab to be our next leader and Prime Minister."

Broadcasting equipment and a lectern have been set up in Downing Street amid expectations that the PM's statement will be within the next 30 minutes.

Theresa May is expected to make a statement in Downing Street at around 10am on Friday, Downing Street confirmed.

Ahead of Mrs May's speech, her husband Philip May, chief of staff Gavin Barwell and communications chief Robbie Gibb could be seen standing on Downing Street.

Theresa May said she had "done my best" to deliver a Brexit deal as she made a statement about her future in Downing Street.

"I have striven to make the UK a country that works not just for a privileged few but for everyone and to honour the result of the EU referendum," she said.

Mrs May said she had done "everything I can" to gain support for her Brexit deal, but said it is now in the "best interests of the country for a new prime minister to lead that effort".

"So I am today announcing that I will resign as leader of the Conservative and Unionist Party on Friday 7th June so that a successor can be chosen."

Following the speech, International Trade Secretary Liam Fox tweeted: ".@theresa_may has acted with dignity and honour in pursuit of what she believes to be in the national interest, the hallmark of her time in public life."

Mrs May said that the process of electing her successor would begin the week after she finally stepped down as Conservative leader.

She said that she had informed the Queen that she would continue to serve as Prime Minister until that process was complete.

After the PM broke down in tears, Change UK Interim Leader Heidi Allen tweeted: "Oh @theresa_may , why didn't we see that emotion more? Things could have been so different...."

Mrs May, her voice cracking, concluded her speech saying: "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."

Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd tweeted: "The Prime Minister has shown great courage.

"She is a public servant who did all she could to bring Brexit to a resolution.

"Her sense of duty is something everyone should admire and aspire to."

Mrs May said that in order to deliver Brexit, her successor would have to build a consensus in Parliament.

"It is and will always remain a matter of deep regret that that I have not been able to deliver Brexit," she said.

"It will be for my successor to seek a way forward that honours the result of the referendum.

"To succeed, he or she will have to find consensus in Parliament where I have not.

"Such a consensus can only be reached if those on all sides of the debate are willing to compromise."

Labour MP David Lammy, who opposes Brexit, tweeted: "Theresa May's premiership was doomed from the moment she bound the country to the ERG's impossible red lines.

"Every PM who maintains the fantasy that we can leave the EU but keep the benefits is destined to fail - and sadly the next one may bring the country with them."

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt tweeted: "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 & resolve.

"NHS will have an extra £20bn thanks to her support, and she leaves the country safer and more secure. A true public servant."

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Liz Truss, a candidate to replace Mrs May, tweeted: "Very dignified statement from the Prime Minister. She has put her all into the job and has shown huge resilience at this difficult time. #ThankYou #PMStatement"

Scotland First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: "I wish Theresa May well. She and I had profound disagreements - not least on her handling of Brexit and her disregard for Scotland's interests. However, leadership is tough - especially in these times - and she deserves thanks for her service.

"Her departure will not solve the Brexit mess that the Tories have created. Only putting the matter back to the people can do that. Given current circumstances, it also feels deeply wrong for another Tory to be installed in Number 10 without a General Election."

Scottish Secretary David Mundell said it was "time to get on" with the process of choosing a new prime minister.

"I am very sorry it has come to this. Nobody could have worked harder, or shown a greater sense of public duty, in delivering the result of the EU referendum than Theresa May," he said.

"She has my utmost respect for those endeavours, in the most challenging of circumstances, as well as her unswerving commitment to the Union.

"As Mrs May herself acknowledges, she has, however unfairly, become an impediment to the resolution of Brexit and was no longer being given a hearing by Parliament.

"Yesterday's elections will surely show that delivering Brexit is now more urgent than ever, and that will fall to a new Prime Minister. It's time to get on with the process of appointing one."

Mrs May said the "unique privilege" of being PM is to use the platform to give a "voice to the voiceless" and to fight the "burning injustices that still scar our society".

She listed her work on mental health care, domestic abuse, the race disparity audit, gender pay reporting, and the Grenfell Tower inquiry.

The Prime Minister said: "This country is a union: not just a family of four nations, but a union of people, all of us - whatever our background, the colour of our skin or who we love, we stand together and together we have a great future.

"Our politics may be under strain but there is so much that is good about this country.

"So much to be proud of, so much to be optimistic about."

Mrs Sturgeon added: "The prospect of an even more hardline Brexiteer now becoming PM and threatening a no deal exit is deeply concerning.

"Added to the experience of the past three years, this makes it all the more important that Scotland is given the choice of becoming an independent country."

Andrea Leadsom, who resigned as Commons Leader on Wednesday, tweeted: "A very dignified speech by @theresa_may. An illustration of her total commitment to country and duty. She did her utmost, and I wish her all the very best."

Prominent European Research Group member Steve Baker, who strongly opposed the PM's Brexit deal, tweeted: "Very dignified statement from Theresa May, beginning to set out the many things which she has achieved in office. This is a sad but necessary day."

Environment Secretary Michael Gove tweeted: "A moving speech from a Prime Minister who deserves our respect and gratitude. Thank you @theresa_may."

The Prime Minister's Chief of Staff Gavin Barwell tweeted: "As the PM's Chief of Staff for the last two years, I have seen at first hand her commitment to public service and her incredible resilience as she has confronted the biggest challenge any British Government has faced since the Second World War. It has been an honour to serve her."

Former Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab, a candidate to replace Mrs May as Conservative Party leader, tweeted: "Dignified as ever, @theresa_may showed her integrity. She remains a dedicated public servant, patriot and loyal Conservative."

Irish premier Leo Varadkar has described Mrs May as honourable and deeply passionate.

In a statement, he said: "I got to know Theresa May very well over the last two years.

"She is principled, honourable and deeply passionate about doing her best for her country, and her party.

"Politicians throughout the EU have admired her tenacity, her courage and her determination during what has been a difficult and challenging time.

"Theresa May strove to chart a new future for the United Kingdom. I want to wish her the very best for the future.

"I look forward to working closely with her successor."

Labour MP Jess Phillips tweeted: "Have listened now to her statement and yes it's hard to hear her emotion. She deserves our respect but not an unwavering whitewash. Our country desperately needed and needs leadership that doesn't pander to their bases and speaks and hears the country."

Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd tweeted: "As a Party we must come together to make a success of the next phase of our Party's great story.

"Brexit is a process and compromise is needed to pass a Deal that works for everyone.

"We must show we can lead this great country to the strong future that I know we can deliver."

DUP Deputy Leader Nigel Dodds tweeted: "Whilst we have had differences with Theresa May on Brexit I have always found the Prime Minister very courteous and pleasant to work with on a personal basis. I thank her for her public service and wish her well."

Bookmaker Ladbrokes said Boris Johnson was the immediate favourite to replace Mrs May, at odds of 5-4.

Dominic Raab was second at 5-1, according to the company, while Andrea Leadsom and Michael Gove were tied in third place at 10-1.

They were followed by Jeremy Hunt (12-1), Penny Mordaunt, Sajid Javid and Rory Stewart (all 20-1).

Former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, the bookmakers' favourite to replace Mrs May as Tory leader, 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."