British Theresa May has announced she will step down as UK Prime Minister, after three bruising years that saw her fail to deliver Brexit.
May said on Friday she would quit as leader of the Conservative Party on Friday 7 June
“I will resign as leader of the Conservative and Unionist party on Friday, 7 June so that a successor can be chosen,” May said outside 10 Downing Street.
A contest for the party’s leadership will take place in the week following May’s departure.
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.
She endured crises and humiliation in her effort to find a compromise Brexit deal that parliament could ratify, and bequeaths a deeply divided country and a political elite that is deadlocked over how, when or whether to leave the EU.
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.
More to follow