Amid Brexit backlash, Theresa May steps down, to resign on June 7
London, May 24: British Prime Minister Theresa May on Friday announced that she will step down as Conservative leader on June 7 after failing to persuade MPs to support her Brexit deal.
Addressing the reporters, a visibly tearfurful May said that it had been "the honour of my life" to serve as Britain's second female prime minister. Her voice breaking, she said she would leave "with no ill will, but with enormous and enduring gratitude".
May is expected to continue as caretaker prime minister until her party elects a new leader. That internal election process will begin in the days immediately following her resignation on June 7.
"I will shortly leave the job that it has been the honour of my life to hold," the 62-year-old May said.
"The second female Prime Minister, but certainly not the last. I do so with no ill will, but with enormous and enduring gratitude to have had the opportunity to serve the country I love." The outgoing Prime Minister said she had kept Queen Elizabeth II informed of her exit timetable, meaning she would be presiding over US President Donald Trump's state visit to the UK in early June.
May listed a series of what she said were her government's achievements, including tackling the deficit, reducing unemployment and boosting funding for mental health.
But she admitted: "It is and will always remain a matter of deep regret to me that I have not been able to deliver Brexit." The UK was to have left the 28-member economic bloc by March 29 but failed to meet that deadline and now faces a renewed Brexit deadline of October 31.
May was expected to resign after a meeting with the chair of the Conservative Party's influential 1922 Committee of backbench MPs on Friday.
The UK Parliament has remained in deadlock since it rejected May's Brexit deal negotiated with the EU three times.
The biggest sticking point has been the Irish backstop clause, which Brexiteers believe will be used to keep Britain tied to EU rules even after Brexit.
May's attempts to find a formal compromise with the Opposition Labour benches to try and win another Commons vote also ended in failure and resulted in her adding a series of sops to her rejected deal, including the offer of a parliamentary vote on a second referendum in response to demands from a large chunk of Opposition MPs.
OneIndia News (with PTI inputs)