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British PM Theresa May will step down on June 7

Published: May 24, 2019 15:53:57 | Updated: May 28, 2019 13:43:38


British Prime Minister Theresa May delivering an emotional statement in Downing Street in London on Friday. -Reuters Photo

British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Friday she would step down on June 7, succumbing to calls in her governing Conservative Party to make way for a new leader to try to break an impasse over Britain’s departure from the European Union.

“It is now clear to me that it is 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 the 7th of June,” May said.

In an emotional statement in Downing Street in London, May said she had "done my best" to honour the 2016 EU referendum result, report BBC and Reuters.

It would remain a matter of "deep regret" that she had been unable to deliver Brexit, she added.

May said she will continue to serve as prime minister while a Conservative leadership contest takes place.

Mrs May's voice shook as she ended her speech saying: "I will shortly leave the job that it has been the honour of my life to hold.

"I do so with no ill will, but with enormous and enduring gratitude to have had the opportunity to serve the country I love."

May, once a reluctant supporter of EU membership, who won the top job in the turmoil that followed the 2016 Brexit vote, steps down with her central pledges - to lead the United Kingdom out of the bloc and heal its divisions - unfulfilled.

May bequeaths a deeply divided country and a political elite that is deadlocked over how, when or whether to leave the EU. She said her successor would need to find a consensus in parliament on Brexit.

May’s departure will deepen the Brexit crisis as a new leader is likely to want a more decisive split, raising the chances of a confrontation with the European Union and a snap parliamentary election.

The leading contenders to succeed May all want a tougher divorce deal, although the EU has said it will not renegotiate the Withdrawal Treaty it sealed in November.

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