Theresa May to resign as British PM, will stay on until race for successor starts

British Prime Minister Theresa May speaks to the media outside 10 Downing Street in London, Britain on May 24, 2019. Theresa May said on Friday that she will quit as Conservative leader on June 7, paving ways for contest to decide Britain's next prime minister. (Xinhua/Alberto Pezzali). Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

LONDON, May 25, 2019, Xinhua. British Prime Minster Theresa May said on Friday that she will quit as leader of the Conservative party on June 7, paving the way for the process of electing her successor, reported the Xinhua.

“I am today announcing that I will resign as Conservative leader on Friday 7 June,” she said. “I have agreed with the party chairman that the process for electing a new leader will begin in the following week.”

Ahead of announcing her resignation, May held a private meeting with Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Committee, a body that represents Conservative backbench MPs in the House of Commons.

The timetable announced by May means she will still be in office next week when U.S. President Donald Trump will pay a state visit to Britain. She will also take part in commemorations in Britain and France to mark the anniversary of the D-Day landings that paved the way for the end of World War II.

It could be July before May hands over the keys to 10 Downing Street.

A number of senior ministers have already indicated their intention to join the race, which is expected to start on June 10, to choose her successor as leader of the Conservative Party.

Among the potential candidates, former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who also served two terms as Mayor of London, has emerged as the most competitive to succeed May as prime minister.

May’s time as prime minister has come to a crashing end over the unrest among her own MPs triggered by the Brexit withdrawal plan which she had planned to announce today.

May postponed the announcement of her withdrawal plan after senior ministers told her they would not support it.

Her resignation comes against the backdrop of her failure to win parliamentary support for her Brexit plan, which has seen Britain remaining as a member of the European Union just weeks away from the third anniversary of the 2016 referendum when voters chose to leave the bloc.

The task of finding a way out of the Brexit deadlock will go to her successor.

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