Theresa May to become Britain’s next PM on July 13
LONDON – Agence France-PresseTheresa May on July 13 will become the prime minister who leads Britain into talks to quit the European Union, after her last rival in the bid to succeed David Cameron pulled out.
May became the only contender after Andrea Leadsom - who had stirred a storm for suggesting she was more qualified to be premier because she had children - abruptly quit the race on July 11.
Cameron later announced May would take over from him on July 13, when he will to go to Queen Elizabeth II and tender his resignation after one final Prime Minister’s Questions session in parliament.
“We’ll have a new prime minister in that building behind me by Wednesday [July 13] evening,” he said in a statement outside 10 Downing Street.
Accompanied by her banker husband Philip and surrounded by supportive MPs, a smiling May later stressed the need “to negotiate the best deal for Britain in leaving the EU” in brief comments outside parliament.
Cameron chaired a farewell Cabinet meeting July 12 before handing over power to May.
Britain has faced the worst political turmoil in generations following June 23’s shock referendum vote to leave the European Union.
The outcome prompted Cameron to step down, plunging his ruling Conservative party into a bitter leadership race.
At the same time, the head of the main opposition Labour party, Jeremy Corbyn, is also facing a challenge to his job.
Senior MP Angela Eagle formally launched her bid on July 11, and Labour’s election coordinator, Jon Trickett, said the opposition party should brace for a general election soon after May takes office.
“I am now putting the whole of the party on a general election footing,” Trickett added.
Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she expected the new British government to “quickly” define its relationship with the EU after May becomes the new premier.
“The United Kingdom will need to quickly clarify how it wants its ties with the European Union to be in future,” Merkel said late July 11 at a reception for diplomats north of Berlin.
Merkel reiterated that it was now up to London to formally trigger Article 50 to leave the EU following last month’s shock referendum backing a “Brexit” or British exit from the Union.
Only then could negotiations on any future relationship between Britain and the EU begin, she added.