May to step down as party leader on June 7

Saturday, 25 May, 2019

An emotional Theresa May has announced she will resign as prime minister in June. "I tried three times", she said in a speech delivered at Downing Street.

"But it is now clear to me that it is in the best interest 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, June 7 so that a successor can be chosen".

"I wish her well".

The daughter of a rural Anglican vicar, May attended Oxford University and worked in financial services before being elected to Parliament in 1997. Naturally reserved and reliant on her husband and a few close aides, she often says she is just quietly "getting on with the job". Her only touches of flamboyance are a fondness for bold outfits and accessories like brightly patterned kitten-heel shoes.

But the stripping of Islamic State bride Shamima Begum's United Kingdom citizenship after the death of her infant child was seen as heartless by many and the momentum he had previous year seems to have dried up.

Former foreign minister Boris Johnson, the favourite to replace May, was first out of the blocks, saying Britain should be prepared to leave the European Union without a deal to force the bloc to offer a "good deal".

Mrs Foster said the prime minister had fundamentally misjudged her party's position on Brexit throughout negotiations.

But Brexit soon crowded out nearly all other policies.

Here are six charts that shed light on her time as PM.

May was pushed into the humiliating spectacle of announcing her departure from office following a meeting with the head of the Conservative Party committee in charge of leadership elections. May looked stiff on the campaign trail and failed to connect with voters who were far more concerned about other issues than Brexit. The DUP also challenged her on her plan to avoid a hard border with Ireland by keeping Northern Ireland closely tied to the EU.

The new leader faces a race against time to secure Britain's terms of exit from the European Union, with the country otherwise crashing out by default on October 31.

All that remained was for the British and European Parliaments to ratify it.

Her careful compromise of an agreement was rejected by both sides of the Brexit debate.

Labour would be forced into reverting into a more Remain position - for example ruling out leaving the European Union altogether - or to try and persuade the electorate that Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell and Keir Starmer could go back to Europe and ask to start the negotiations all over again.

A first vote on the bill had been scheduled for the first week of June but on Thursday the government said it would be delayed.

Whatever her flaws, May was no quitter. "She's very strong", Trump said.

Asked about the possibility of a no-deal Brexit now being more likely, Mr Blackford added: "Parliament would have to take its own responsibilities if that is the case and I would remind everyone that we have that option of revoking Article 50 and stopping this process". But several dozen rebelled anyway, consigning it to a third defeat in parliament and leaving her mortally weakened.

For many Conservative lawmakers, speed is of the essence to install a new leader to try to break the Brexit impasse.

In the end, the pressure became irresistible.

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.

"It was unfortunate circumstances she found herself in, but she made them worse".