An emotional Theresa May has announced she will quit as the British prime minister.
Ms May said on Friday morning (local time) she would resign on June 7.
"It is now clear to me that it is in the best interests of the country for a new prime minister to lead that effort. So I am today announcing that I will resign as leader of the Conservative and Unionist Party on Friday the 7th of June," Ms May said.
“I will shortly leave the job that has been the honour of my life to hold.
“The second female prime minister but certainly not the last.”
She has endured repeated crises and humiliation in her effort to find a compromise Brexit deal that parliament could ratify, and bequeaths a deeply divided country and a political elite that is deadlocked over how, when or whether to leave the EU.
Ms May said it was with “deep regret” that she wasn’t able to deliver Brexit.
“I do so (resign) with no ill will but with enormous and enduring gratitude to have had the opportunity to serve the country I love,” Ms May said as her voice cracked with emotion.
She then abruptly left the podium and was on the verge of tears.
Who will replace Theresa May?
Former mayor of London Boris Johnson has made no secret of his desire to be Britain’s next prime minister.
The outspoken Mr Johnson has long been one of Britain’s best known politicians and he is believed to enjoy strong support from rank-and-file Conservative Party members.
He was a key leader of the campaign that in 2016 convinced a majority of British voters to cast ballots in favour of leaving the European Union.
Mr Johnson, 54, planned a leadership run after that vote but eventually decided not to compete. He has already said he would seek the job this time around.
He resigned as foreign secretary in July because of unhappiness with Ms May’s Brexit plans.
Mr Johnson said Ms May’s resignation was “very dignified”.
“Thank you for your stoical service to our country and the Conservative Party,” Mr Johnson tweeted.
“It is now time to follow her urgings: to come together and deliver Brexit."
Other contenders include former Brexit secretary Dominic Raab, foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt and former leader of the House of Commons Andrea Leadsom.
Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn tweeted Ms May has accepted “she can’t govern and nor can her divided and disintegrating party”.
“Whoever becomes the new Tory leader must let the people decide our country’s future, through an immediate General Election,” he tweeted.
With Reuters and The Associated Press
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