June 17, 2019

Brexit-scarred Theresa May steps down, leadership race on

12 June 2019, 08:27 | Glen Norman

Theresa May officially quits as Tory leader

Leader of the Brexit Party Nigel Farage arrives at a party's news conference following the results of the European Parliament elections in London Britain

May will remain as acting leader and prime minister for a few weeks while the party picks a successor, who will become Britain's next prime minister.

Brexit has already claimed one scalp, in the form of Theresa May, but her successor will face the daunting task of having to find parliamentary approval for their preferred Brexit deal.

May's carefully crafted Brexit deal with the bloc has been thrown out three times by Parliament, and departure day has been postponed from March 29 until October 31. The party said a new prime minister would be in place by the week beginning July 22.

Nearly three years since Britain voted 52 percent to 48 percent to leave the European Union, lawmakers remain at loggerheads over how, when or even whether to leave the EU.

But her approach to the Brexit endgame, refusing to accept MPs' trenchant opposition to her deal before belatedly opening ultimately futile negotiations with the Labour main opposition, left May politically adrift. The referendum date is set for June. She wins by 200 votes to 117, making her safe from another such challenge for a year. "There's very little to commend her".

She put on a fearless face this week when hosting US President Donald Trump for a state visit, before joining him and other world leaders to mark 75 years since the D-Day landings.

Eleven candidates are now in the running to replace Mrs May.

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May was born on October 1, 1956 in Eastbourne, Sussex, England as Theresa Mary Brasier.

May studied geography and met her husband Philip at Oxford University before joining the Bank of England.

Official nominations to replace her will be received on Monday, and Conservative Party grandees want the selection process to be completed by the end of July.

He is seeking to persuade Conservatives that he is the only candidate who could win a new national election for the Conservative Party.

But a 2010-16 stint as home secretary saw May adopt isolationist rhetoric that included a vow to create "a really hostile environment for illegal migration".

Then-Prime Minister David Cameron confirms in his victory speech that there will be an "in/out" referendum on Britain's European Union membership.

The three-paragraph statement included no glowing tribute to her time in Downing Street, nor spoke of her achievements as prime minister.

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The front-runner, Boris Johnson, has warned that the Conservatives face "extinction" if Britain doesn't leave the European Union on Oct 31.

The success of the rookie Brexit Party, meanwhile, has fuelled fears among Conservative party managers that a general election could happen in the near future.

Health secretary Matt Hancock said the defeat showed the Tories should be more concerned about Labour, not the Brexit Party.

But in the 2017 election, the leader struggled to engage with voters and was dubbed the "Maybot" after churning out the same answers and "strong and stable" soundbytes over and over again.

A spokesperson with the Prime Minister's Office told Xinhua Friday that May's formal removal as Conservative Party leader is not expected to be marked by any ceremony or fanfare.

Members of Parliament (MPs) voted down her proposed "Withdrawal Agreement" for a third time at the end of March, but May's departure may not necessarily mean that her blueprint for pulling the United Kingdom out of Europe will be completely discarded.

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