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‘May right to resign’: politicians react to PM stepping down

RESIGNATION: Theresa May revealed she will step down as prime minister on June 7

THE MORNING after the European elections, Theresa May has announced the date that she will be stepping down as Conservative leader.

The prime minister fought to hold back tears as she delivered her speech outside Number 10.

“I will shortly leave the job that it has been the honour of my life to hold. The second female prime minister but certainly not the last. I do so with no ill will but with enormous and enduring gratitude,” she said.

For months the prime minister has been under increasing pressure to step down as the Brexit chaos continued and she repeatedly failed to get Parliament to back her Brexit deal.

Following her announcement, politicians from across the political spectrum shared their thoughts on her decision and what should happen next.

The leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, said: “Theresa May is right to resign. She's now accepted what the country's known for months: she can't govern, and nor can her divided and disintegrating party.

“Whoever becomes the new Tory leader must let the people decide our country’s future, through an immediate general election.”

“A dignified and moving speech from Theresa May, it is sad and disappointing that it has come to this,” tweeted Conservative MP James Cleverly.

Boris Johnson, who is the favourite to become the next leader of the Conservative Party, said: “A very dignified statement from @theresa_may. Thank you for your stoical service to our country and the Conservative Party. It is now time to follow her urgings: to come together and deliver Brexit.”

“Theresa May’s resilience has been her greatest strength and greatest weakness - it prevented her from properly reaching out. She is leaving now not because she tried to get compromise and consensus this spring, but because she didn’t build consensus and compromise at the start,” Yvette Cooper said.

A number of MPs have used May’s announcement to reiterate calls for a People’s Vote to enable the public to have their say on how the country should move forward.

Former leader of the Green Party Caroline Lucas said: “While May was almost uniquely ill-equipped to be negotiator we needed, truth is she was given impossible job. You can’t achieve a hard Brexit and avoid hard border in N. Ireland, and no new PM can achieve it either. Case for #PeoplesVote stronger than ever.”

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan tweeted: “Theresa May's job was made impossible by Brexit extremists in the Conservative Party. It's totally unacceptable for Britain’s future to be decided by these same people - people deserve better.

“Parliament should revoke Article 50 and give the British public the final say on Brexit.”

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