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News > United Kingdom

UK: May Resigns as Tory Leader, Stays as Prime Minister

  • Theresa May attends an event to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day, in Portsmouth, Britain, June 5, 2019.

    Theresa May attends an event to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day, in Portsmouth, Britain, June 5, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 7 June 2019

Conservatives will perform several voting rounds until one of them become Prime Minister on July 22. The Labour Party lider Jeremy Corbyn, however, calls for general elections in the U.K.

Theresa May has signed her resignation letter as leader of the Conservative Party Friday, but says she will continue as acting Prime Minister until her successor is elected July 22.


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"For the remainder of her time in office, she will be building on the domestic agenda that she has put at the heart of her premiership," a May spokeswoman said.

On June 10, Conservatives will begin the process to elect a new leader, a post for which 10 members are vying.

Among the canditates is former Foreign Minister Boris Johnson, Environmental Minister Michael Gove and current Former Minister Jeremy Hunt.

Johnson, the favorite to win the Tory elections, says he wants to see a Brexit, with or without a deal, compared to Gove, who is playing himself as a diplomatic politician who wants to negotiate a deal with the European Union, were the United Kingdom to leave, even if it meant extending (again) the now-Oct. 31 deadline to depart the union.​​​​​​​

May announced her resignation May 24 after failing to obtain parliamental approval for her separation plan from the EU. During her resignation speech, May said the time had come for another PM to take over a process which began June 23, 2016, when 52 percent of Britons voted in favor to leave the bloc.

The agreement May negotiated with the EU authorities was rejected three times by the House of Commons. As a result of the lack of consensus among British politicians, the Brexit deadline moved from March 29 to October 31.

Between June 13 and 20, Conservative lawmakers will hold a number of voting rounds until only two politicians remain as the most likely candidates for prime minister. 

All Conservative Party will vote for one of the finalists and the candidate with the most votes will become the Tories' leader and the next British Prime Minister July 22. 

This is the schedule that is expected according to the British political tradition. While the Tories were making their internal electoral arrengements, however, the leftist politician and leader of Labor Party, Jeremy Corbyn, insisted Friday on the need to hold general elections in the U.K.

While speaking to the public in Cambridgeshire after recent local elections, Corbyn told crowds: “On the day that Theresa May ceases to be leader of the Conservative Party, my message is to all the squabbling contenders for the Tory party leadership: Bring it on." He and the party are insisting on general elections to decide the next prime minister. “We are ready for a general election at any time,” said the politician.

"The next Prime Minister should not be chosen by a handful of unrepresentative Tory party members," he tweeted, insisting that "whoever becomes the new Tory leader must let the people decide our country's future, through an immediate general election."​​​​​​​

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