Theresa May to resign before next phase of Brexit
Theresa May has promised Tory MPs she will step down as prime minister within the next few months in a bid to get Eurosceptics to back her Brexit deal, The Guardian reports.
The prime minister indicated she would resign only if her Brexit deal passes in order to allow a new leader to shape the UK’s future relationship with the EU.
The dramatic announcement to a meeting of Tory backbenchers prompted dozens of Eurosceptics including Boris Johnson to switch sides in favour of backing her deal. Conservative sources said she could formally announce a leadership contest on 22 May, with a new prime minister in place by July.
The frontrunners will be Johnson, Jeremy Hunt, Dominic Raab and Michael Gove, but there is likely to be a wide range of candidates bidding to enter No 10.
May told MPs: “I have heard very clearly the mood of the parliamentary party. I know there is a desire for a new approach – and new leadership – in the second phase of the Brexit negotiations, and I won’t stand in the way of that.
“I know some people are worried that if you vote for the withdrawal agreement, I will take that as a mandate to rush on into phase two without the debate we need to have. I won’t; I hear what you are saying. But we need to get the deal through and deliver Brexit.
“I am prepared to leave this job earlier than I intended in order to do what is right for our country and our party.”