United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May announced Friday she is stepping down from her position after nearly two years of taking Great Britain on a bungled path toward Brexit.
May survived two votes of no confidence — one from her own Conservative members of Parliament in December and another from the House of Commons in January. But her time ran out as the UK failed to separate itself from the European Union before EU elections in late May after delaying Brexit twice.
According to the BBC, May announced she would step down from her leadership of the Conservative Party on June 7. However, she said she will remain as prime minister until her party chooses a new leader, who would then take her post leading the country.
— The Hill (@thehill) May 24, 2019
May took the helm July 13, 2016, just weeks after the country voted in a referendum to leave the EU, even though May herself was a “remainer” and wanted the UK to stay in the EU.
Many supporters of the “Leave” campaign wanted increased national sovereignty, including more control over immigration into the country.
One major player in the “Leave” campaign in 2016 was Andrea Leadsom, who was leader of the House of Commons in May’s government.
Leadsom announced Tuesday she was quitting May’s cabinet, in what the U.K. Daily Mail said was part of a “plot” to take May’s post for herself.
Leadsom’s announcement that she felt she needed to step down because she “fundamentally” opposed May’s latest version of a Brexit deal delivered quite a blow to the prime minister.
Leadsom also said she opposed holding a second Brexit referendum, which could have come with members of Parliament voting on May’s repackaged Withdrawal Agreement Bill. May had promised to hold a vote on the bill around June 3, reported The New York Times.
It is with great regret and a heavy heart that I have decided to resign from the Government. pic.twitter.com/f2SOXkaqmH
— Andrea Leadsom MP (@andrealeadsom) May 22, 2019
May’s resignation does not come totally out of the blue — she had indicated she would step down when members of Parliament voted on the Withdrawal Agreement Bill, reported BBC.
But members of her own party reacted to her call for a vote so vehemently that it finally did her in.
For example, Conservative lawmaker Nigel Evans said May should “make way for fresh leadership without handcuffing her successor to a poisoned baton,” according to The New York Times.
May had even reached out across the aisle to the Labour Party to find support for a reworked Brexit deal. But they were reluctant to align themselves with a prime minister whose chances of staying around were slim.
“No Labour MP can vote for a deal with the promise of a prime minister who only has days left in her job,” Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said according to BBC.
The field of replacements for May could be quite wide.
In addition to Leadsom’s expected bid, former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, a staunch Brexiteer, said May 17 that he would run for leader of the Conservative Party if May vacated, reported Sky News.
Former Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab is another favorite to replace her, according to Metro.
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