On the way out: Theresa May failed to win support for a Brexit deal [File: Simon Dawson/Reuters]
Theresa May has formally stepped down as leader of Britain’s governing Conservative Party, officially triggering a leadership contest that has effectively been running for several weeks.
The prime minister announced last month she would step down on Friday, June 7, after her authority to govern collapsed following three failed attempts to win parliament’s approval for a negotiated deal to leave the European Union.
The final straw came when compromises offered to attract more support for the Brexit deal failed to sway opposition politicians and enraged members of her own party.
“Following notification from the Prime Minister, Rt Hon Theresa May MP, that she has resigned as leader of the Conservative and Unionist Party, the joint acting chairs of the 1922 Committee are inviting nominations from those Conservative Members of Parliament who wish to stand for election as the next party leader,” read a brief statement from the party’s backbench grouping.
The three-paragraph statement included no glowing tribute to her time in Downing Street, nor spoke of her achievements as prime minister.
“Nominations close at 5pm on Monday, June 10. The list of candidates, together with their proposer and seconder, will be made publicly available after the close of nominations.