THERESA May has announced her exit from Downing Street after failing to deliver Brexit and presiding over a collapse in support for the Conservative party.

She will stand down as Tory leader on June 7, triggering a contest to replace her.

READ MORE: Politics Live: Theresa May says she will quit as Tory leader on 7 June 

The Brexiter former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is the current favourite to do so.  

Mrs May will stay on in a caretaker capacity until the end of the process, which could be completed by the end of July.

The delay will allow her to welcome President Donald Trump for his state visit next month.

Speaking outside Number 10, her voice cracking and close to tears, Mrs May said she had tried her best to get her Brexit deal through parliament but had failed.

She said she deeply regretted her failure, and stressed the need for her successor to find “consensus” and “compromise”, a clear sign she does not want a No Deal Brexit.

“Never forget that compromise is not a dirty word,” she said.

She said it was the “honour of my life” to serve as PM and she bore no ill will over her exit.

At the end of her statement, her voice gave way and with a pained expression she said had been immensely grateful “to serve the country I love”.

Mrs May’s statement followed a 9am meeting at Number 10 with Sir Graham Brady, chair of the 1922 Committee of Tory backbenchers.

READ MORE: Ian McConnell: Pound on ropes with no sign of sorry Brexit circus packing up soon 

The committee’s executive had threatened to force a vote of no confidence in her unless she set out a timetable for her departure.

It also came a day after voters went to the polls for European elections which Mrs May repeatedly promised would not take place.


When the results are announced on Sunday night, Nigel Farage’s Brexit is expected to win UK-wide, with the Tories sinking to a record low, potentially a single figure vote share.

Mrs May’s downfall followed a party rebellion over her latest effort to get her Brexit deal through parliament, in which she held out the prospect of a second EU referendum.

The offer proved too much for her many of her own cabinet and previously loyal MPs, who said they would reject her Withdrawal Agreement Bill, and demanded that she quit.

Her loss of authority and impotence in parliament complete, she had little choice but to bring forward her promise to leave office before the 2022 election.

Tory grandee Sir Kenneth Clarke predicted a “chaotic” six-week contest lay ahead as the Conservatives tried to find a new leader.

Former Brexit secretary Dominic Raab, foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt, environment secretary Michael Gove and former Commons leader Andrea Leadsom are also likely to run.

There is also a heightened prospect of a new general election if Mrs May’s successor tries to change the arithmetic at Westminster.