Theresa May is to step down as Conservative leader on the 7th June.
Theresa May came out of 10 Downing Street to announce that she is to step down as the Conservative Party leader, and therefore also subsequently Prime Minister, on the 7th June and allow someone else within the party to seek to deliver Brexit having been unable to do so.
In her speech, May says it’s with ‘deep regret’ that she was unable to honour the referendum and she also stated her successor will need ‘to find consensus in parliament’ and for that to happen, everyone would have to ‘compromise’. May then went onto list some of the achievements her government she perceived had done, citing among other elements the introduction of proxy voting in the House of Commons, requiring annual publishing by companies with more than 250 employees of their gender pay gap and controversially, the inquiry into the safety of council estate tower blocks following the Grenfell tragedy, with many taking to Twitter to reject the idea that the government and Theresa May’s response to Grenfell was a success. May capped the speech on a more personal note by stating how she is ‘the second female Prime Minister but certainly won’t be the last’ and that it has been an honour to serve the country she loves, tears flowing and voice breaking as she uttered the last line.
— Fire Brigades Union (@fbunational) May 24, 2019
Other significant political figures have been voicing their reactions on Twitter. Leader of the Opposition, Jeremy Corbyn, tweeted that May was ‘right to resign’ due to the fact that ‘she can’t govern’ and that the new leader of the Conservative Party should call for a General Election straight away. May’s Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, came out in support of her decision and acknowledged her achievements by calling her ‘a true public servant’, while a significant number of former and current cabinet colleagues lined up to describe her resignation statement as ‘dignified’.
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.
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) May 24, 2019
As for what happens next, there will be a leadership contest within the Conservative Party that the likes of Boris Johnson, Esther McVey and many more Conservative MPs will be entering to become the new leader and our new Prime Minister. The current list of confirmed candidates are as follows:
- Boris Johnson
- Jeremy Hunt
- Esther McVey
- Rory Stewart
Under the party’s rules, Conservative MPs will whittle down the likely long list of candidates to two to put forward to a vote of the membership of the party. A timetable for the leadership contest has been announced with prospective candidates having until 10th June to throw their hat into the ring and the intention to have a new leader and Prime Minister installed before parliament breaks up for the summer in July. As for anything else, only time will tell.