Theresa May resigns as Conservative leader

Dan Kitwood/Getty ImagesUK Prime Minister Theresa May

LONDON – Theresa May has resigned as leader of the Conservative party, triggering a leadership contest which will see the prime minister in late July.

The 1922 Committee of backbench Conservative MPs confirmed that the prime minister had handed in her notice on Friday afternoon.

Conservative MPs who wish to replace her must submit their formal applications by Monday.

Eleven MPs have announced their intention to stand, including frontrunner Boris Johnson, as well as Dominic Raab, Michael Gove, and Andrea Leadsom.

May was elected as an MP in 1997 and became party leader in 2016 when David Cameron resigned following the EU referendum.

A statement issued by the 1922 Committee said: “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.

“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.

“The Rt Hon Theresa May will remain as acting leader of the Conservative and Unionist Party until her successor has been announced.”

May resigned after her Brexit deal was rejected three times by parliament and after it became clear that she had lost the confidence of the majority of her Conservative colleagues.

The next leader will have until October 31 to try and agree a deal which commands the support of a majority in parliament, or the UK could leave without a deal.

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