She should have resigned there and then to give someone else a go. Prime Minister Theresa May's announcement that she will leave 10 Downing Street has set off a fierce competition to succeed her as Conservative Party leader _ and as the next prime minister.
The next prime minister of the United Kingdom, a country of more than 66 million people, will be decided by the 100,000 or so paid-up members of the Conservative Party.
With her resignation, the manner of Britain's withdrawal from the European Union appears more ambiguous than ever.
"There is a real threat of an extremist Brexiteer becoming leader and taking us over the cliff edge of a no-deal, no matter what what the damage to jobs and the economy".
With May's proposal for a fourth time to bring her under-fire Brexit deal to Parliament for a vote in tatters, a deal hated as much by many of her own MPs as by those on the opposition benches, she had run out of time. The Brexit date was hence changed from March 29 to April 12.
I therefore believed her, when she said in a teary voice that, "It is, and will always remain, a matter of deep regret to me that I have not been able to deliver Brexit". There are three Labour or former Labour MPs who support a no-deal exit: Kate Hoey, Kelvin Hopkins and Graham Stringer.
Jeremy Hunt, Boris Johnson, Rory Stewart and Esther McVey have already said they will run for the leadership.
Home secretary Sajid Javid and backbench 1922 committee chair Sir Graham Brady are also thought to be considering entering the race.
Conservative Party conference in Manchester, north-west England. "Doing deals is my bread and butter", he said.
Charities have been urged to plan for the prospect of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union without a deal, after Theresa May announced her resignation.
Several of the candidates vying to take over from May have said Britain must leave on October 31, without or without a deal.
"We'll have a new prime minister by the end of July, but of course Parliament then goes on recess".
The party chooses its leaders in a two-step process.
May, who took charge in the aftermath of the 2016 Brexit referendum, was forced out following a Conservative mutiny over her ill-fated strategy to end Britain's near five-decade membership of the EU.
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, an opponent of Brexit, tweeted that May's exit "will not solve the Brexit mess that the Tories have created".
Gove's bid for the leadership in the aftermath of the 2016 Brexit referendum scuppered the chances of his one-time ally Boris Johnson, who is also running this time around and is seen as the current favourite.
But first, May should be applauded for, first of all, accepting to take on a job that no other politician in the United Kingdom at the time, wanted or knew how to even do...delivering BREXIT after the surprise referendum result three years ago.
"The next leader must respect it, believe in it and, crucially, have the wherewithal to deliver it". 'It is best for us to leave with an agreement, he said.
In the past, Mrs May's steely statements have been received with exasperation, frustration, and even the odd eye roll from her own colleagues, the press, and certainly the public.
Next week sees US President Donald Trump paying a state visit to Britain, and also commemorations to mark the anniversary of the World War II D-Day landings. Under the UK's fixed-term parliaments act, the House of Commons would have 14 days to pass a motion of confidence in an alternative government, led by another wannabe PM. "I think it's going to be a beauty parade for hard Brexiteers", she tells Sky's "Sophie Ridge on Sunday" show. "Such a consensus can only be reached if those on all sides of the debate are willing to compromise".
"I will shortly leave the job that has been the honour of my life to hold", May said outside her Downing Street official residence with her husband, Philip, looking on.
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