Theresa May resigns as Prime Minister

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Theresa May has announced that she will resign as Prime Minister on June 7.

In a statement outside Downing Street, an emotional May expressed her “deep regret” that she could not deliver Brexit and described being Prime Minister as the “honour” of her life.

In her resignation speech, May spoke about the work she has carried out as Prime Minister, highlighting reports into race disparity and the gender pay gap, as well as the inquiry into the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

May will remain Prime Minister, while a Conservative leadership contest will take place the following week.

May has faced a turbulent past few days as the Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom resigned on Wednesday after saying that she no longer believed the Government would deliver the result of the 2016 referendum.

May faced controversy over her latest Brexit plan, which aimed to achieve cross party support, although senior members of her cabinet expressed their concerns to the PM about the plan.

An emotional May outside Downing St. Credit: NBC News

A look back on May

Theresa May served as Home Secretary under David Cameron for six years. After his resignation after the 2016 EU Referendum, Theresa May defeated Andrea Leadsom in a leadership contest to become the next Prime Minister.

May pledged to fight “burning injustices” and build “a country that works for everyone” in her first speech outside Downing Street three years ago.

In 2017, May called a General Election, but her somewhat poor performance on the campaign trail lost her party a majority, scraping through with enough to form a minority government with the support of Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party.

Brexit dominated May’s career as PM with one of the first Brexit highlights for May was her telling the EU that “no deal was better than a bad deal.”

She found herself in conflict with the European Union over Brexit demands, leading to a public row with the EU’s Jean-Claude Juncker.

May found that the EU would not be her only source of conflict, as Parliament rejects her proposed withdrawal agreement.

Most recently, May proposed a new Brexit deal, but this was also immediately rejected by not just the opposition, but members of her own party.

A time dominated by Brexit Credit: Olivier Hoslet

May has had to deal with conflicts within the Conservative Party, with some of her MPs leaving the Government, and others joining Change UK.

She survived a vote of no confidence put forward by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

May’s time as Prime Minister saw tragic times for the country, including the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower which killed 72 people.

She also lead the country through three terrorist attacks. The first was the 2017 Westminster attack which killed four people when a terrorist drove a car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge and fatally stabbed Police Officer Keith Palmer.

Two months later saw the attack on the Manchester Arena, where a suicide bomber attacked an Ariana Grande concert, killing 22 people in Britain’s deadliest terror attack since the 7/7 bombings. Many of the victims were young people and teenagers.

A further attack on London Bridge when terrorists drove a van into pedestrians killing eight people. Finally, the Finsbury Park mosque attack, which saw a right wing terrorist drive into worshippers, killing one person.

May had some notable moments as PM, her disastrous speech at the 2017 party conference where she was plagued by coughing fits, targeted by an internet prankster handing her a P45 and the letters falling off the wall behind her. Her next notable appearance was in Africa where she was videoed dancing awkwardly, which led to her walking out to Dancing Queen at the next party conference.

Theresa May’s resignation leaves Downing Street up for grabs, so who’s next?

As May walks out, who will step into her shoes Credit: The Washington Post

So who’s next?

There are a few names which have already been mentioned to be running for Conservative leader.

Boris Johnson, Esther McVey and Rory Stewart have all said that they will run to be the next leader of the Conservative Party.

The next leader will be the next Prime Minister.

A Conservative leadership election will begin on June 10 and will last for around six weeks. Theresa May will continue to be Prime Minister throughout this process.

Any Conservative MPs who would like to run to be leader will then put their names forward.

Through a secret ballot, the candidates are then eliminated until the top two candidates remain. This ballot is only for MPs and not every party member.

Members of the Conservative Party then vote for their preferred candidate and elect them leader of the party.

The new Conservative leader will become the next Prime Minister in July, and will resume full duties when Parliament returns in September.

Will Boris be our next PM? Credit: The Independent
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Freelance award-winning journalist | Best Journalist SPARC Scotland 2021 | Stirling Uni Class of 2021 | Former Deputy Editor - Brig Newspaper | Bylines in The Scottish Sun, The Alloa and Hillfoots Advertiser, The Barrhead News, The (Renfrew and Johnstone) Gazette, Brig Newspaper, The Oban Times, Stirling Today and Tales From Lockdown.

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