Theresa May confirms departure as Tory leader paving way for new Prime Minister
Theresa May has announced she is to stand down as leader of the Conservative party triggering a new leadership contest and paving the way for a new Prime Minister.
She said she would stand down as Tory leader on June 7.
Theresa May said she had "done my best" to deliver a Brexit deal as she made a statement about her future in Downing Street.
Mrs May said: "It is and will always remain a matter of deep regret to me that I have not been able to deliver Brexit.
"It will be for my successor to seek a way forward that honours the result of the referendum.
"To succeed, he or she will have to find consensus in Parliament where I have not.
"Such a consensus can only be reached if those on all sides of the debate are willing to compromise.
"I have striven to make the UK a country that works not just for a privileged few but for everyone and to honour the result of the EU referendum."
Watched by husband Philip and her closest aides, an emotional Mrs May said it was in the "best interests of the country for a new prime minister to lead that effort".
Announcing her departure from a job she loved, Mrs May said: "I am today announcing that I will resign as leader of the Conservative and Unionist Party on Friday 7th June so that a successor can be chosen."
Concluding her resignation statement, Mrs May broke down as she said it had been "the honour of my life" to serve "the country that I love".
Mrs May gave a statement outside Downing Street following a meeting with the Chairman of the influential Conservative 1922 Committee, Graham Brady at 9am.
A Tory leadership election is to take place to choose Mrs May's successor as Prime Minister with former Foreign Minister Boris Johnson the early frontrunner.
Mrs May has been under huge pressure to resign this week after her new Brexit plan was roundly rejected by both her own party and opponents.
On Wednesday evening Leader of the House of Commons Angela Leadsom announced her resignation from the cabinet, saying she no longer believed the government approach could deliver Brexit.
Conservative MP Helen Grant left the cabinet on Friday morning, saying she wanted to "actively and openly" support a new leadership cabinet.
Brexit has been delayed until October 31 after MPs repeatedly refused to back the Prime Minister's Brexit deal.
EU Council President Donald Tusk, after granting the extension, urged the UK to use the time wisely.
Belfast Telegraph Digital