Theresa May is set to become the next British Prime Minister, as her opponent, Andrea Leadsom steps down.
May now remains the only candidate in the race for Conservative party leadership. The party’s constitution states, ‘if there is only one candidate at the time laid down for the close nominations, that candidate shall be declared Leader of the Party.’
Shortly after Leadsom’s announcement, 1922 Committee chair, Graham Brady confirmed that May would stand unattested as Party leader. The result means that May has become the second female Prime Minister, following on from Margaret Thatcher, who held office from 1979 to 1990.
It is thought that May could be residing at No. 10 Downing Street from as early as this week. However, the current Prime Minister, David Cameron will have to formally resign to the Queen first. There are also calls for a General Election, once May takes the reigns.
Addressing the decision to quit the leadership race, Leadsom said, “The best interest of our country inspired me to stand for the leadership. I believe that in leaving the EU a bright future awaits, where all our people can share in a new prosperity, freedom and democracy.”
“The referendum result demonstrated a clear desire for change – strong leadership is needed urgently to begin the work of withdrawing from the European Union.”
“A nine-week leadership campaign at such a critical moment for our country is highly undesirable.”
“There is no greater privilege than to lead the Conservative Party in government and I would have been deeply honoured to do it.”
“I have, however, concluded that the interests of our country are best served by the immediate appointment of a strong and well-supported prime minister.”
“I am therefore withdrawing from the leadership election and I wish Theresa May the very greatest success. I assure her of my full support.”
May is currently appointed as the Home Secretary and has been a Conservative MP since 1997. She has held a variety of different roles within the party including Shadow Secretary of State for the Family from 2004 to 2005; and Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Women and Equalities from 2010 to 2012. Before embarking on her career in politics, May began her working life at the Bank of England.