After three years of internal party disputes and unable to stem the tide of criticism over her unpopular Brexit bill, British Prime Minister Theresa May announced details of her resignation.
In a very emotional statement, she said she will resign as leader of the Conservative party, and consequently, as Prime Minister on Friday 7th June. The process to select a new leader will begin in the following week.
In a statement in front of 10 Downing Street, May said that she has striven to make the UK a country that works for the many, not the few, and to deliver Brexit. She said that is will always remain a source of great regret that she could not deliver Brexit.
Her voice cracking with emotion, Mrs May said: “I will shortly leave the job that it has been the honour 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.”
She was facing a showdown over her future on Friday morning with Graham Brady, the head of the influential 1922 Committee of Conservative backbenchers, whose mutinous MPs were likely to change their rules and force her out if she did not clarify her exit strategy.
Since January, Parliament has rejected the withdrawal agreement Mrs May negotiated with the EU three times. Recent attempts to find a formal compromise with Labour also failed.
May had planned to publish the Withdrawal Agreement Bill on Friday – the legislation required to bring the agreement into UK law – describing it as “one last chance” to deliver Brexit.
However, her proposals – including a customs union arrangement and an offer to give MPs a vote on holding another referendum – angered many Tories.
Ministers hope the campaign for the next Conservative Party leader can be finished by the end of July.
A leadership contest beginning on 10 June would come after the state visit from US President Donald Trump and the Peterborough by-election.
More than 12 Conservative MPs are seriously considering running, Laura Kuenssberg said, with Johnson currently seen as the front runner.