Prime Minister Theresa May said today she would step down as Prime Minister on 7 June after the failure of her flagship Brexit policy.
Her resignation triggers a contest for the leadership of the Conservative Party and the keys to 10 Downing Street.
Supporters and political rivals reacted to her resignation this morning.
The favourite to succeed May as PM paid tribute to her “dignified” resignation speech and set out his position as the leader to deliver on the 2016 referendum result. Since his resignation from cabinet last year, Johnson has used his Telegraph column as a platform to deliver regular swipes at May’s handling of the Brexit negotiations.
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.— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) May 24, 2019
May’s main rival for the Tory leadership in 2016 triggered her eventual downfall with her resignation from Cabinet on Thursday night. The former leader of the House and prominent Brexiter is one of the frontrunners to succeed May.
A very dignified speech by @theresa_may. An illustration of her total commitment to country and duty. She did her utmost, and I wish her all the very best— Andrea Leadsom MP (@andrealeadsom) May 24, 2019
The Labour leader was unsympathetic to May's fate and reiterated Labour's demand for a general election.
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.— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) May 24, 2019
Whoever becomes the new Tory leader must let the people decide our country’s future, through an immediate General Election.
The former Brexit secretary, who has set out his pitch to the Tory grassroots with a tough stance on Brexit, paid tribute to May today.
Environment secretary Michael Gove has been a key supporter of May since his return to cabinet in 2017. Gove spent a period in the political wilderness following his betrayal of Brexiter ally Boris Johnson following the 2016 referendum, but has rebuilt his stock of political capital in the ensuing years and is now one of the favourites to succeed May.
A moving speech from a Prime Minister who deserves our respect and gratitude.— Michael Gove (@michaelgove) May 24, 2019
Thank you @theresa_may
Foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt has plotted an increasingly independent course in recent months as May’s authority over her Cabinet crumbled. Another frontrunner for the top job.
I want to pay tribute to the PM today. Delivering Brexit was always going to be a huge task, but one she met every day with courage & resolve. NHS will have an extra £20bn thanks to her support, and she leaves the country safer and more secure. A true public servant.— Jeremy Hunt (@Jeremy_Hunt) May 24, 2019
The Change UK leader and former Tory MP Heidi Allen showed a note of regret in her response to May’s emotional resignation speech.
Oh @theresa_may , why didn’t we see that emotion more? Things could have been so different….— Heidi Allen MP (@heidiallen75) May 24, 2019
Former Home Secretary Amber Rudd lost her post over the Windrush debacle, allowing May to escape relatively unscathed from a scandal that largely stemmed from her hardline six-year stint at the Home Office.
The Prime Minister has shown great courage.— Amber Rudd MP (@AmberRuddHR) May 24, 2019
She is a public servant who did all she could to bring Brexit to a resolution.
Her sense of duty is something everyone should admire and aspire to.
As a Party we must come together to make a success of the next phase of our Party’s great story.— Amber Rudd MP (@AmberRuddHR) May 24, 2019
Brexit is a process and compromise is needed to pass a Deal that works for everyone.
We must show we can lead this great country to the strong future that I know we can deliver.
Key European Research Group member Steve Baker has been a constant thorn in the side during May’s premiership. He welcomed her exit today.
Very dignified statement from Theresa May, beginning to set out the many things which she has achieved in office.— Steve Baker MP (@SteveBakerHW) May 24, 2019
This is a sad but necessary day. https://t.co/OvbyVu9c5E