Theresa May will step down as leader of the Conservative Party on June 7.
An emotional prime minister announced her departure after talks with Graham Brady, the chairman of the backbench 1922 committee of Tory MPs, on Friday morning. The process to select a new leader will begin the following week.
May said she had done her best to deliver Brexit. “I have done everything I can to convince MPs to back that deal,” she said. “Sadly I have not been able to do so.”
“Our politics may be under strain but there is so much that is good about this country. So much to be proud of. So much to be optimistic about,” she said outside No. 10 Downing Street.
Her voice cracked as she said: “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.”