END OF THERESA MAY: BRITISH PRIME MINISTER RESIGNS AFTER BREXIT FAILURES

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END OF THERESA MAY - BRITISH PRIME MINISTER RESIGNS AFTER BREXIT FAILURES
END OF THERESA MAY - BRITISH PRIME MINISTER RESIGNS AFTER BREXIT FAILURES
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The UK Prime Minister has announced her departure, after pressure on her reached a critical point following her Brexit failures.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May has announced she will step down on June 7, after pressure on her to quit reached a critical point following her Brexit failures.

The Conservative leader broke down in tears as said she would stand down as Tory party leader and make way for a successor, who will hope they can agree a deal for the UK to leave the European Union.

“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,” an emotional Mrs May told the media outside 10 Downing Street.

“So I am today announcing that I will resign as leader of the Conservative and Unionist Party on Friday the 7th of June so that a successor can be chosen.”

Her voice breaking, Mrs May said she would be leaving a job it has been “the honour of my life to hold.”

Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May broke down as she announced her resignation outside 10 Downing Street on Friday morning. Picture: Tolga Akmen / AFP
UK Prime Minister Theresa May has announced her resignation. Picture: Tolga Akmen / AFPSource:AFP

Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May broke down as she announced her resignation outside 10 Downing Street on Friday morning. Picture: Tolga Akmen / AFPSource:AFP

A tearful Mrs May said she had ‘done her best’ to deliver on the 2016 vote for Brexit, and left with no ill will. Picture: Isabel Infantes / AFP

A tearful Mrs May said she had ‘done her best’ to deliver on the 2016 vote for Brexit, and left with no ill will. Picture: Isabel Infantes / AFPSource:AFP

She will stay on as caretaker prime minister until the new leader is chosen, a process likely to take several weeks. Tory MPs and members will have to vote on a new leader, with former foreign secretary Boris Johnson the frontrunner to take the role.

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Mrs May’s announcement came after she met with the chairman of the party’s key backbench committee in London on Friday morning, local time.

The 1922 Committee’s “executioner” Sir Graham Brady set the showdown meeting for Mrs May, pushing her to set a departure timetable rather than face a leadership challenge.

She admitted there was now no chance she could her Brexit deal through parliament but called on MPs to come together and deliver on the referendum, saying: “Life depends on compromise.”

The departing UK PM said she had tried to implement what the people wanted, but had ‘not been able to do so’. Picture: AP Photo/Alastair Grant

The departing UK PM said she had tried to implement what the people wanted, but had ‘not been able to do so’. Picture: AP Photo/Alastair GrantSource:AP

She said she had done her best to fulfil the wishes of the people after the 2016 vote for the UK to leave the EU, and left with no ill will.

“It is and will always remain a matter of deep regret to me that I have not been able to deliver Brexit,” she said.

“If you give people a choice you have a duty to implement what they decide. I have done my best to do that.

“Sadly I have not been able to do so. I tried three times. I believe it was right to persevere even when the odds against success seemed high.

“I will shortly leave the job it has been the honour of my life to hold — the second female Prime Minister, but certainly not the last.

She said it had been the ‘honour of her life’ to serve the country she loved, expressing ‘enduring gratitude’ for the opportunity. Picture: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

She said it had been the ‘honour of her life’ to serve the country she loved, expressing ‘enduring gratitude’ for the opportunity. Picture: Dan Kitwood/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

“I do so with no ill will but with enormous and enduring gratitude to have had the opportunity to serve the country I love.”

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Mrs May has repeatedly failed to win the UK Parliament’s approval for a European Union divorce deal, and this week she faced a mutiny when a senior minister quit and Cabinet colleagues expressed doubts her latest bill would pass.

The humiliating spectacle of the prime minister detailing her departure date follows a toxic response to her latest Brexit plan this week from cabinet colleagues and Conservative MPs.

Mrs May arrives at Downing Street in central London on Friday morning to meet the chairman of the party’s key backbench committee. Picture: Tolga Akmen / AFP

Mrs May arrives at Downing Street in central London on Friday morning to meet the chairman of the party’s key backbench committee. Picture: Tolga Akmen / AFPSource:AFP

Mrs May previously said she would step aside once a Brexit deal had been passed by parliament, and launched a fresh bid on Tuesday for politicians to vote on a revised bill in early June. The government has now postponed that vote.

MPs have already overwhelmingly rejected her EU divorce plan, agreed with European leaders last year, three times.

Her latest proposals, which included giving them the option of choosing to hold a second referendum on Brexit to agree a deal, prompted a furious reaction among Conservatives.

Calls for Mrs May, pictured with husband Philip, to step down as Prime Minister had grown deafening after she repeatedly failed to pass her Brexit deal. Picture: Leon Neal/Getty Images

Calls for Mrs May, pictured with husband Philip, to step down as Prime Minister had grown deafening after she repeatedly failed to pass her Brexit deal. Picture: Leon Neal/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

Leader of the House of Commons Andrea Leadsom quit this week, saying she no longer had faith Mrs May could pass a divorce deal to take the UK out of the European Union. Picture: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Leader of the House of Commons Andrea Leadsom quit this week, saying she no longer had faith Mrs May could pass a divorce deal to take the UK out of the European Union. Picture: Dan Kitwood/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

Pressure intensified on Mrs May after Andrea Leadsom — one of cabinet’s strongest Brexit backers — resigned on Wednesday from her post as the government’s representative in parliament.

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In her resignation letter, Ms Leadsom told the prime minister she no longer believed that her approach would deliver on the 2016 referendum result to leave the EU.

After months of political paralysis over Brexit, the clamour for the PM to stand down has been growing, and intensified after disastrous results in the May 2 English local elections.

MPs have overwhelmingly rejected her EU exit plan three times, triggering a growing push by both rivals and former allies to remove her from office as her attempts to agree on a Brexit plan appeared to be headed for a dead end. Picture: Mark Duffy/UK parliament via AP

MPs have overwhelmingly rejected her EU exit plan three times, triggering a growing push by both rivals and former allies to remove her from office as her attempts to agree on a Brexit plan appeared to be headed for a dead end. Picture: Mark Duffy/UK parliament via APSource:AP

The Conservatives are expected to fare similarly badly in this week’s European parliament elections when the results are announced late Sunday, when they are projected to come fifth, behind the Green Party.

The leadership battle could take about six weeks, during which time Mrs May could try to pass some of the less controversial parts of her Brexit deal. She is also set to meet with Donald Trump during his state visit to the UK from June 3-5.

Many of Mrs May’s former allies have now turned against her, with foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt urging her to give up on her efforts to pass her Brexit legislation, The Times reported. Home secretary Sajid Javid also told her that her bid for a second referendum was doomed.

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