After a turbulent three-year tenure, Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May is resigning on June 7. Though she’d faced intense pressure and scrutiny from the Conservative party over Brexit negotiations, she simply was unable to deliver.
Having lost the support of her Cabinet, May announced her resignation on Friday, May 24 in an emotionally charged speech.
Her departure will trigger a leadership contest to see who will take her place. The Tory party hopes to select a new Prime Minister by the end of July.
May said it had been an honor to serve as Britain’s second female Prime Minister. However, she also acknowledged her inability to deliver on the country’s withdrawal from the European Union.
“It is, and will always remain, a matter of deep regret to me that I have not been able to deliver Brexit,” May said.
“I tried three times. I believe it was right to persevere, even when the odds against success seemed high,” she explained. “But 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.”
As for her successor, she noted that a consensus on Brexit “can only be reached if those on all sides of the debate are willing to compromise.”
With an October 31 deadline looming, however, there is little time left for deliberating.
Of her three-year tenure, she said: “I will shortly leave the job that it has been the honor of my life to hold — the second female Prime Minister but certainly not the last.”
Before breaking down in tears, she added: “I do so with no ill-will, but with enormous and enduring gratitude to have had the opportunity to serve the country I love.”
May will continue her duties until June 7, which means she will still host Donald Trump on his state visit.