Theresa May announces resignation
In a statement outside Downing Street, Theresa May has announced that she will step down as Conservative leader on Friday 7 June.
Describing her “deep regret” that she was not able to deliver Brexit, she said that "It is now clear to me that it is in the best interest of the UK for a new prime minister to lead that effort." The Conservative leadership contest will begin next week.
Stating that she was “proud of the progress we have made over the last few years”, May said that her successor would “have to find a consensus” and that “consensus will only be possible if those on both sides of the debate ‘compromise.’”
Describing her time as prime minister, she said “Ever since I first stepped through the door behind me as PM, I have striven to make the UK work not just for a privileged few but for everyone and to honour the result of the referendum.”
With European election polls predicting that the Conservatives may finish in fifth place, behind the Green Party, May struck an optimistic tone for the future of her party: “I know that the Conservative party can renew itself in the years ahead. I know we can deliver Brexit.”
Currently, Boris Johnson is the favourite to succeed her as Tory leader with former Brexit secretary Dominic Raab in second place. Behind these two frontrunners, Michael Gove, Andrea Leadsom and Jeremy Hunt are all in the running.
Conservative MPs will whittle down the list of candidates to two through a series of eliminations. These final two will then be put to the roughly 120,000 Conservative party members who will vote for the next leader.