UK's May resigns after Brexit failures

British Prime Minister Theresa MayTheresa Mary MayOvernight Defense: Pentagon chief defends Milley after Trump book criticism | Addresses critical race theory | Top general says Taliban has 'strategic momentum' in war Will Ocasio-Cortez challenge Biden or Harris in 2024? The Hill's Morning Report - Biden takes office, calls for end to 'uncivil war' MORE on Friday announced she is resigning on June 7 after again failing to find support for her Brexit plan to withdraw from the European Union by an Oct. 31 deadline.

Her departure triggers a leadership contest in the Conservative Party.


“I will shortly leave the job that has been the honor of my life to hold,” May said on Friday outside her Downing Street official residence. “The second female prime minister, but certainly not the last.”

May became prime minister shortly after the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union in 2016, and her time in the position has been engulfed by efforts to deliver on that initiative.

May unveiled the latest version of her Brexit proposal on Tuesday, along with a set of policies surrounding the nation’s departure, and gave the House of Commons a chance to vote on another referendum. The proposal was quickly met with significant opposition.

She said she’d done everything she could to pass her Brexit deal, which was ultimately rejected three times, and not being able to do so will always “be a matter of deep regret.”

“I feel as certain today as I did three years ago that in a democracy, if you give people a choice, you have a duty to implement what they decide,” she said. “I have done my best to do that.”

She added that she thought it was “right to persevere, even when the odds against success seemed high. But it is now clear to me that it is in the best interests of the country for a new prime minister to lead that effort."

“I do so with no ill will but with enormous and enduring gratitude to have had the opportunity to serve the country I love,” May said tearfully, with her husband, Philip, looking on. 

May said she will remain as caretaker prime minister until a new leader is chosen, a process that could take several weeks.

One potential candidate is former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, a backer of Brexit who resigned from May’s Cabinet last July.

Updated at 7:20 a.m.