Theresa May will become Britain’s new leader tomorrow, Prime Minister David Cameron said today after her sole rival pulled out of a leadership race.
“We’ll have a new prime minister in that building behind me by Wednesday evening,” Cameron told reporters outside his Downing Street residence, explaining that he would hold his final Prime Minister’s Questions session in parliament on Wednesday before meeting Queen Elizabeth II to step down.
Andrea Leadsom, who had come in for heavy criticism after appearing to imply that she was more qualified than May because she had children, said a lengthy leadership race would be “highly undesirable”.
May is “ideally placed to implement Brexit on the best possible terms for the British people”, Leadsom said in a statement announcing her withdrawal from the contest to lead the governing Conservative Party.
Leadsom supporters were also quick to support May, with former London mayor Boris Johnson calling for a handover of power between Prime Minister David Cameron and May to begin “immediately”. Michael Gove, who ran against May, also said the party should move “as quickly as possible”, adding: “She has my full support as our next prime minister”.
The value of the pound, which has been severely hit by the Brexit vote, rose after Leadsom’s announcement. On a tumultuous day in British politics, Labour lawmaker Angela Eagle also launched her bid to take over the leadership of the main opposition Labour Party from veteran socialist Jeremy Corbyn.
“These are dark times for Labour and they are dangerous times for our country,” Eagle said. Cameron announced he would resign after failing to persuade Britons to vote to stay in the European Union in a seismic June 23 referendum.