THERESA May stepped down as Prime Minister on May 24, 2019.
Mrs May choked on her tears as she said the job was the “honour of my life”. But who will be her successor?
Tearful May announced that she will be stepping down on June 7 – after Donald Trump’s state visit[/caption]
Who will be the next Prime Minister?
As soon as Theresa May left the podium outside Downing Street, focus turned towards the rest of the Tory party.
Jeremy Hunt and Dominic Raab were first out of the blocks to replace May.
Sajid Javid and Michael Gove also jostled for position while Boris Johnson broke his silence about his plans.
Jacob Rees-Mogg revealed he won’t run for the leadership because he won’t get enough support to win.
Other contenders vying for the job include Cabinet ministers such as Amber Rudd and housing minister Kit Malthouse and Brexit minister James Cleverly.
They span the whole of the Brexit spectrum, from Eurosceptic hardliner Esther McVey to Justine Greening, who backs a second referendum.
Why did Theresa May resign?
May claimed she had done all she could to take Britain out of the EU with a deal, saying: “Ever since I first stepped through the door behind me as Prime Minister, I have striven to make the United Kingdom a country that works not just for a privileged few, but for everyone. And to honour the result of the EU referendum.
“If you give people a choice you have a duty to implement what they decide. I have done my best to do that.
“Sadly I have not been able to do so. I tried three times – I believe it was right to persevere even when the odds against success seemed high.”
Her voice cracking, she attempted to defend her legacy and insisted she has helped to fix Britain’s “burning injustices”.
The PM confessed she now had no chance of ever getting her Brexit deal through Parliament.
But she urged MPs to come together and deliver on the referendum, saying: “Life depends on compromise.”
May survived a vote of no confidence in December 2018, but repeated thwarted attempts to pass her Brexit deal have left her without authority.
As Mrs May enters the endgame of her time in office:
- The Tories face a battering at European elections
- Leadership rivals jostled for position with Boris Johnson favourite to take over
- Andrea Leadsom hit out at Remainers who have undermined Brexit
- Mel Stride replaced Mrs Leadsom as the Leader of the Commons
- Ministers confronted the PM warning she can’t get her Brexit deal through
- Sacked Gavin Williamson threw his weight behind Boris Johnson
What are the odds on the next Prime Minister?
Here are what the bookies are saying on May 27, 2019.
These are the odds on who will be the next PM according to Paddy Power:
Boris Johnson – 7/4
Former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is still a hugely popular figure among Tory grassroots and the general public.
Boris quit as Foreign Secretary on July 9, 2018, in a blow to May’s government.
He walked out just hours after she lost Brexit Secretary David Davis over her Chequers plan to keep close ties to Brussels.
He called on May to stop “dithering” and tell the EU that Britain will not accept the controversial backstop arrangement designed to avoid a hard border in Ireland.
He rejected warnings about the impact of a No Deal Brexit, insisting: “Whatever the doomsters may say … there will be no shortage of Mars bars, we will still have potable drinking water in Britain. The planes will fly, the ferries will ply.”
He has said he would “of course” stand in the Conservative leadership contest to replace Theresa May.
Dominic Raab – 7/2
The former Brexit Secretary quit the cabinet in protest over Theresa May’s soft divorce deal with the EU.
Raab has insisted No Deal wouldn’t be chaotic for Britain and said the short-term risks were “manageable”.
He has blasted those who want to extend Article 50 or a second referendum.
He said: “If there’s an attempt to reverse the referendum, stop Brexit altogether I think that would cut across not only the democratic mandate, the biggest in history we had.”
Michael Gove – 9/2
The Environment Secretary has achieved a remarkable turnaround since knifing Boris Johnson during the 2016 leadership contest.
His support among party members dropped through the floor and it seemed his chances were gone for ever.
But Mr Gove, who led the Leave campaign in the EU referendum, has rebranded himself as an ecowarrior as Environment Secretary.
He has also thrown his full support behind Theresa May’s Brexit plan, winning him friends among MPs if not the party faithful.
He claimed May blundered by not having key Labour figures on her Brexit talks team.
The Environment Secretary said the PM “made a mistake by not asking Gisela Stuart to join at the beginning”.
He also said No Deal must be kept on the table.
Jeremy Hunt – 11/1
Mr Hunt was the longest-serving Health Secretary in British history before replacing Boris as Foreign Secretary.
He left the Department of Health after securing a £20bn funding increase for the NHS, but was hated by junior doctors after changing their contracts so they wouldn’t receive extra pay for the many shifts they work – previously classified as unsociable hours.
Mr Hunt is known to have leadership aspirations and now says he backs Brexit despite campaigning for Remain during the referendum.
Just hours after Mrs May resigned, he put his name into the hat to be in the running to replace her.
Andrea Leadsom – 17/1
Though an unlikely candidate at the time, Brexit campaigner Leadsom reached the final two of the 2016 leadership contest.
She withdrew over ill-judged remarks about Theresa May not being a mother.
She resigned as Leader of the House on May 22, 2019, with reports claiming May begged her not to go.
Rory Stewart – 13/1
Prisons Minister Rory Stewart MP put himself forward to replace May as Prime Minister on April 24, 2019.
Mr Stewart told the Spectator: “Difficult periods need different types of people.
“One of the reasons why I would be tempted towards this job is that we desperately need to rebuild ourselves internationally after Brexit. I am one of the only people in Parliament who is a genuine specialist.”
Mr Stewart studied at Oxford and tutored Princes William and Harry in his spare time.
Sajid Javid – 20/1
The Home Secretary ended up backing Remain during the EU referendum but is popular among the Tory parliamentary party.
Mr Javid was appointed Home Secretary in the wake of the Windrush scandal and the resignation of Amber Rudd.
A known Eurosceptic, some of his statements in recent months and his backing for a harder Brexit have been taken as signs he is pitching for the leadership.
The MP for Bromsgrove in Worcestershire is a former managing director from Deutsche Bank.
On May 27, Javid announced his bid to run for PM.
Matt Hancock 25/1
The Health Secretary tried to break the ice in a crunch Cabinet meeting earlier this week by turning up with a packet of waffles.
He’s already raked in £100,000 in donations from digital tech entrepreneurs, The Sun revealed this week.
And he’s won admirers for his positive and optimistic brand of conservatism and his track record of getting things done.
Penny Mordaunt 25/1
Another female Brexiteer to watch out for is Penny Mordaunt.
She’s just been promoted to Defence Secretary after Gavin Williamson was sacked earlier this month, which is fitting as she is a Navy reservist.
Previously the former Splash! contestant ran the Department for International Development.
James Cleverly – 66/1
Cleverly is the MP for Braintree and became Brexit Minister on April 4, 2019.
He is a Brexiteer and has said he wants to “see Brexit delivered“.
He backed May’s Brexit deal saying it “allows us to take back control of our borders and our laws, stop sending those vast sums of money to the EU, and to make our own trade deals across the world”.
Priti Patel – 100/1
Priti Patel is the MP for Witham in Essex who backed Leave.
She has said “MPs are flailing around making a complete hash of this simple instruction” to exit the EU.
Esther McVey – 50/1
Ms McVey has said that the next PM must “believe in Brexit”.
The Tory leadership candidate has backed a No Deal Brexit.
Amber Rudd – 125/1
Ms Rudd has managed to stay in favour with Mrs May, taking the buck for the Windrush Scandal and stepping down as Home Secretary — before returning to the cabinet within months and becoming Work and Pensions chief.
The 55-year-old Hastings MP has voiced support for the PM and for her botched Brexit deal, but insiders think she’s savvy enough to manoeuvre a bid to the top when she’s ready.
One concern though would be her slim majority in her constituency of Hastings and Rye, which was slimmed down after the 2017 vote to just 346 votes.
Johnny Mercer – 150/1
Mercer became a well-known face in politics when he appeared on Channel 4’s Stand Up to Cancer show Hunted with Kay Burley.
He’s the MP for Plymouth Moor View and a former Army captain who was stood up for veterans’ rights.
David Davis – 150/1
David Davis quit as Brexit Secretary on July 8, 2018, with a devastating letter warning Mrs May her proposal would leave the UK in “a weak negotiating position” with Brussels.
He has since launched a series of attacks on Mrs May’s strategy, and led a Tory rebellion to ditch the Chequers plan.
He called on Cabinet ministers to rise up and kill off the plans.
Furious Tories then demanded Mr Davis be installed as interim leader to save true Brexit.
Jeremy Corbyn – 25/1
The bookies had been giving Jeremy Corbyn strong odds as the nation’s next Prime Minister.
But his odds are drifting as it is now inevitable that the next PM will be a Tory.
The Labour leader has made calls for a General Election but despite May’s resignation there will not be one – yet.
The Labour leader has had to fight constant opposition from his own MPs including a leadership contest after just a year.
But the party swung behind him after a much stronger than expected 2017 General Election when Labour picked up 30 seats and Mrs May lost her majority.
Although the fabled “youthquake” of support from younger voters did not happen,
Corbyn finally agreed to consider a second referendum in February 2019 — just weeks before the UK’s scheduled departure date.
latest on theresa may
David Cameron 500/1
Cameron was PM before Theresa May but resigned after the Brexit refernedum which saw Leave come out on top.
The Remainer has kept a low profile since stepping down in 2016.
Speaking to the BBC on January 16, 2019, Cameron said: “Obviously I regret that we lost that referendum, I deeply regret that – I was leading the campaign to stay in the European Union.”
He is set to release his memoirs before the Tory Conference 2019.
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