“It is and will always remain a matter of deep regret to me that I have not been able to deliver Brexit,” May said.
Rabat – Theresa May has bowed to pressure from the Conservative party and announced that she will resign as their leader, effective from June 7.
The resignation comes after the Prime Minister’s latest Brexit plan was strongly condemned by her MPs on Tuesday. The new plan included concessions aimed at attracting cross-party support.
The ten-point plan angered Tory backbenchers and members of her own cabinet, while still failing to please the Labour MPs it was meant to convert to her cause. The move is part of a three-year struggle to reach a Brexit deal that all parties could accept.
May delivered the news in an emotional speech in front of the official residence in Downing Street.
During the speech, May spoke of her party’s many achievements during her time as leader, including tackling the deficit, reducing unemployment, and boosting funding for mental health.
However, she admitted: “It is and will always remain a matter of deep regret to me that I have not been able to deliver Brexit.”
She reiterated that she had “done everything” she could to convince MPs to support the withdrawal deal she had negotiated with the European Union, but it was now in the “best interests of the country for a new prime minister to lead that effort”.
May added that her successor would have to build consensus in Parliament in order to deliver Brexit. “Such a consensus can only be reached if those on all sides of the debate are willing to compromise,” she said.
She concluded her speech with a shaking voice, saying “I will shortly leave the job that it has been the honor 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.”
Labor Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn tweeted that May had been “right to resign” as the Conservative party is “disintegrating.”
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.
— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) May 24, 2019
Several members of the Conservative party tweeted in support of May’s speech, including Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, who has already announced his decision to run for leadership. In his tweet, he called May a “true public servant” and that delivering Brexit is a hugely difficult task for anyone.
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.
— Jeremy Hunt (@Jeremy_Hunt) May 24, 2019
The Conservative party hopes to find a new leader by the end of July, and Boris Johnson, Esther McVey, and Rory Stewart have all announced their intentions to run for the position along with Hunt.
Until then, May will still serve as Prime Minister and will host US President Donald Trump during his upcoming visit.