this is bbc news. i'm vicki young at downing street. the headlines at 8pm. it's over. in two weeks‘ time theresa may will step down as leader of the conservative party — but she'll remain in downing street until a new leader is elected. 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. her voice cracking with emotion as she said she left with no ill will and enormous gratitude. 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 to have had the opportunity to serve the country i love. there were immediate tributes from rivals, with a new conservative leader and prime minister, due in number ten, by the end ofjuly. the prime minister's put her heart and soul into trying to do the best for this country at a difficult time, facing a challenging climate in parliament. a little later mrs may left downing street, but her departure from no ten for good, changes nothing says labour, saying it's the country that should decide, who's prime minister. i think we need a general election. we don't need another tory leader
installed by tory mps. good evening from downing street where, after much speculation, and pressure from within her own party and the cabinet, theresa may laid out a timetable for her departure as prime minister. in an emotional speech here outside number ten, she said she'd done her best to deliver brexit, and it was a matter of "deep regret" that she hadn't been able to deliver. mrs may will step down on the 7th ofjune, resigning as conservative leader, but staying on as caretaker prime minister, until her party chooses her successor. that contest to replace her will begin three days later, on 10 june, with tory mps selecting two candidates, and the winner
being voted in by party members. that result is expected by the end ofjuly, with the successful candidate becoming britain's new leader. mrs may said it had been the honour of her life to serve as prime minister, and warned her successor, that he or she would need to compromise to see brexit through. our political editor laura kuenssberg reports now, on the demise of the premiership, of theresa may. it was time. time to go to work, although the job had slipped away. morning. lovely weather. her confidants to choreograph the exit, rather than plan the future. time to confront the truth — a broken government, a broken leader. time to forget distractions. the men in suits walk out. then silence drops. as with every leader, it's lonely at the end. the cameras click just for them.
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 notjust for a privileged few but for everyone, and to honour the result of the eu referendum. i negotiated the terms of our exit and a new relationship with our closest neighbours, which protects jobs, our security and our union. i have done everything i can to convince mps to back that deal. 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, but it is now clear to me that it is in the best interests of the country for a new prime minister to lead that effort, so i am today announcing that i will resign as leader of the conservative and unionist party on friday the 7th ofjune.
painful for her inner circle, after the agony of trying to get parliament on side. for someone else to try now. 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. but her efforts to deal first with her own party and then labour came crashing down. with the country watching on, this inscrutable leader, human after all. this country is a union, notjust a family of four nations but a union of people, all of us. whatever our background, the colour of our skin or who we love, we stand together, and together we have a great future. our politics may be under strain,
but there is so much that is good about this country, so much to be proud of, so much to be optimistic about. 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 to have had the opportunity to serve the country i love. for so long, theresa may fought and fought to hold onto her party and her premiership, but that struggle is now exhausted. her time in office is nearly done. there's no immediate exit. she'll stay until a new leader is chosen by the tory party at the end ofjuly, but who?
coy for now. i found it moving. the prime minister put her heart and soul into trying to do the best for this country at a difficult time facing a challenging climate in parliament, and i know the prime minister has always striven to do what she believes is best for the country. the first cabinet minister in a race of rivals confirmed in a meeting in his constituency he'd run a few hours later. her passion was to deliver the brexit referendum result. that will now be someone else‘s responsibility, and whoever succeeds in doing that will know that she laid the foundations. no prizes for guessing who will also be one of the cast of maybe more than a dozen, speaking at a conference in switzerland today. i do not wish to elaborate now on what we're going to do and how we're going to do it, but believe me, you will be hearing possibly more about that
than you necessarily want to hear. but they all know tory prime ministers often depart downing street because of europe. it's a very big moment and a sad moment, because she cared passionately about the job and the country and she wanted to serve the country, like i did, and when you come to that moment when you know your time is up, it's extremely hard to take. any of them would have to wrangle the same divided party, with eurosceptics willing to do almost anything to get their way. politicians have to make sure their words and deeds match. that's very important. who's fault is this then? hers? wasn't it harry truman who had in his office the motto "the buck stops here"? the buck always stops in downing street, it must do. someone has to answer these protesters' question — where is the government? who will lead? there has to be another opportunity for the people of this country
to decide who they want to be in their government, how they want the government to be run, what the long—term strategy of that government is. i think we need a general election. our politics' problems will not disappearjust with a new tory leader. i'm not sure that her departure changes the fundamentals of brexit, which is an utter mess, and it looks to me that the only way to resolve it is to put the issue back to the people. you cannot see power, you cannot touch power, but in this street you feel it profoundly, when it has fallen away. there has been speculation for months about who could replace theresa may as the conservative leader, ever since she confirmed she would stand down in an effort to get mps to accept her brexit deal. let's have a look at some of the main contenders. some mps have already
thrown their hats into the ring. the foreign secretary jeremy hunt has been building support among mps, but can he get the support of the party members should he find his name on the final ballot? then there's borisjohnson. the former foreign secretary is a popular within the grassroots of the party — a recent poll indicated that almost 40% of party members would support him as leader. the former work and pensions minister esther mcvey has confirmed she'll stand. and has rory stewart international development secretary. we're also expecting to hear of a few more people putting their names forward including andrea leadsom. she was in the final two with theresa may at the last leadership election. having quit as the leader of the house on wednesday over the prime minister's brexit deal, she has said she is "seriously considering" running again. graham brady has also stood
down as the chairman of the 1922 committee so he can consider whether to run in the conservative leadership race. and — of course — former brexit secretary dominic raab. earlier this evening conservative mp sirjohn redwood gave his views on may announcing her departure from number ten... i'm sorry for her as a person, she has been a friend and a neighbour for a few years. we have worked together on various things. but i have been privately and personally urging herto have been privately and personally urging her to change her policy in saying that if she had stayed with the policy of that dreadful agreement treaty, it was bound to end in tears and i'm very sorry it didn't do so but she couldn't see it, she did not understand that it wasn't just a it, she did not understand that it wasn'tjust a large number of mps that didn't like the agreement. the country doesn't like the agreement, leave voters don't like it, remain photos so i could for various reasons. she managed to unite the whole country consist dreadful
treaty. that's because a lot of people are not willing to compromise, are they? people don't like it for different reasons. some people want a new deal brexit or for bracelets not happen at all. the next leader will have to deal with that. we have ideas what one future to be but there were problems with the treaty. i kept explaining that it wasn't leaving but it was not staying with the voting voice. it was a strange hybrid where we paid the bills, accepted the responsibilities and a large number of new laws they would determine but we no longer had a voting voice. it was clearly worse than leaving properly and or staying in. and looks like there could be almost a 16 may be candidates throwing their hats into the ring for this contest. do you have views on who should take over? no because it is far too early. my first advice would be for all the 16 to think very carefully.
16 is far too many, we do not want to spend weeks in the mp part of the context to try to whittle it down to two to present to our members. i hope that there will be deal—making in the days ahead so that the mp contest has a realistic number of candidates to give us a decent choice. and i have one simple question for all of the candidates and my decision will be probably be made on how they answer it and that is how are they, three years on from the referendum now, going to get us out of the eu cleanly and sensibly? i think the only way to do is to go to brussels and say "we are very sorry. we made a mistake in this agreement, it's not something the bridge people or apartment can accept us so we intend to leave but we would like a free—trade agreement and we will leave it anyway". and i wa nt and we will leave it anyway". and i want people to do that promptly because we need to get on with new
policies, sorting out the economy, fishing industries, farming, which is why we voted brexit in the first place. what about the parliamentary arithmetic and all of this? that won't change even though the prime minister will change and there are still many sum in their own party who said they would do anything to stop a no—deal brexit. a future prime minister will so had to deal with that. it will be a many deals brexit because there'll be a transport deal, custom steel, there is other acumen deals and they will come up to the immediate run—up to the exit. i say to my permanents or collea g u es the exit. i say to my permanents or colleagues the civil factors the british public decided, the conservative and labour mps were all elected on manifestos to intimate their wages. i think a firm and sensible leader of the conservative party and new premise or make sure that permit does not put up another obstacle that permit does not put up another o bsta cle in that permit does not put up another obstacle in the way and it would
require now clear legislation approved by parliament to stand in the way of us leaving at the latest on the 31st of october. that was sir john redwood speaking to me a bit earlier. after years of tough talks, draft agreements, renegotiations, parliamentary defeats, and delays to brexit... europe's leaders are now facing the prospect of a new british prime minister. the german chancellor, angela merkel, said her government will work to maintain strong ties with britain, whatever happens in the future. translation: of course i respect this decision. i always worked well with the british prime minister, theresa may. britain's departure from the european union is a major transition and regardless of what happens now in britain, the german government will do everything to achieve a good partnership, an orderly exit, and good cooperation in and i hope that will remain the case in the future. that was angela merkel speaking there.
so how is the news of mrs may's departure going down elsewhere in europe? our europe editor katya adler sent this update from brussels. what it doesn't change is the fact that eu leaders up as ever but this brexit process that seems to go on and on and the change of prime minister is threatening to lengthen this process even further. but a change that brussels believes is coming is that a new prime minister will probably want to come here and try to renegotiate the brexit deal, particularly that controversial backstop guarantee for the irish border. now eu leaders have said today, absolutely not, they're not going to budge. they feel they've been around the block for the last two years and theresa may signed off on the brexit deal back in november, but a concern in brussels is if the new prime minister doesn't get his or her way, they could be tempted to use what one eu diplomat described today as "dirty tactics", trying to obstruct eu business like trying to pass a new budget
or they might be tempted to actually trigger a no—deal brexit willing to do so in a way that the eu never believed theresa may would. how the new prime minister deals with the eu will affect how open eu leaders are to granting that prime minister a new brexit extension, this one lasting until the 31st of october and the assumption here is that new prime minister will want more time to renegotiate the brexit deal or to hold a general election. that was our europe editor katya adler there. so how does this affect the political landscape in scotland, wales and northern ireland? in a moment we'll hear from emma vardy in belfast and sian lloyd in cardiff. but first here's our scotland editor sarah smith. politicians here are trained to work out what a new prime minister will mean for scotland. nicola sturgeon has wasted no time in arguing that a new tory leader could strengthen the case for scottish independence. she says the prospect of a hard—line
brexiteer taking over the prospect of the uk leaving the eu with no deal means it is all the more important that scotland should get a choice about whether or not it wants to be an independent country and thatis to be an independent country and that is exactly why scottish tories will want the next leader to do the same thing that theresa may did and thatis same thing that theresa may did and that is to refuse to allow any further referendums on scottish independence. the leader of the scottish conservatives ruth davison said she will back a leadership tenet who is someone who shows their deep commitment to scotland remaining part of the uk and someone who is a unifier who can try and bring the whole country together. here in northern ireland it was thoseissues here in northern ireland it was those issues thrown up by the irish that because theresa may the problems in the brexit and that she never fully managed to overcome and never fully managed to overcome and never managed to persuade her suppose of allies, northern ireland's democratic unionist party
to support her deal. that deal with the dup, something the nationalist party sinn fein have been prickle of is due to expire and will be renegotiated shortly after her successoi’ renegotiated shortly after her successor takes up the role. further southin successor takes up the role. further south in the republic of ireland tonight, the irish prime minister has said that theresa may's registry —— resignation could be potentially very dangerous for ireland. the country most potentially exposed to the effects of a heart brexit. if a euro sceptic candidate were to take oi'i euro sceptic candidate were to take on the role, it could advocate a new job exit. there is nervousness in ireland tonight and here in northern ireland tonight and here in northern ireland where the majority of people voted to remain in the eu about who is going to step in theresa may's shoes. here in cardiff bay, the labour first shoes. here in cardiff bay, the labourfirst minister shoes. here in cardiff bay, the labour first minister mark dra keford has said that a conservative leadership campaign is the last thing that the country needs at this time. many welsh conservative
politicians have defended theresa may's dedication but there are calls for the party to come together to deliver the brexit that the country voted for. whales overall voted to leave the european union. and there isa leave the european union. and there is a feeling that both the conservative and labour politicians here could feel the impact of a search of support for brexit party norma mack when the result of the european elections are announced. after the announcement that theresa may will be stepping down, attention in westminster has been turning to who succeeds her and what they will do about the brexit situation. here are a selection of conservative mps who have today told the bbc what they think will happen next. ifind this sad i find this sad because it demonstrates that conservative parliamentary parties are of with brexit and nothing else was up but it's like he will get one of the two candidates who wants to leave.
whether that is a no—deal, i don't know. i do not see how no deal will ever get through parliament. nevertheless they might be offering something that they can deliver and then there could be somebody that is more from the mainstream screen sampler i think this will probably end up being a race between a lever and a remainer. i think that is a good outcome for the party. mike is ab good outcome for the party. mike is a bjeremy hunt who has been distinguished as foreign secretary and he will have support. he was a remainderlikel and he will have support. he was a remainderlike i was and he will have support. he was a remainder like i was in the 2016 referendum but excepts the country voted to leave and says he will pursue a proper brexit. and i think oi'i pursue a proper brexit. and i think on the leave side, you are down to really either dominic raab or boris johnson. i think the person that has demonstrated the most ability in governments who is also a brexiteer
and for me i think it needs to be someone and for me i think it needs to be someone who voted for brexit and michael gove led the leave campaign or at least he was one of the leaders of the campaign and he has demonstrated in two or three departments now that he has remarkable ability to be transformative in office and i think thatis transformative in office and i think that is the leader we need. we now blur our renewal. the selection of a new leader with this issue the fact that we have not landed a brexit outcome. there are many parliamentarians, myself and many others which yes, we want to have apraxia conclusion but we also want apraxia conclusion but we also want a brexit vision. we want to put britain back on the international stage, re—engage with the international community but also to look at those domestic issues which the nation wants us to focus on. if all we do is talk about brexit as i stress, all we will be doing is handing the keys to number ten to jeremy corbyn.
with me is our political correspondent jonathan blake. that was allowed tory mps talk about what they want to hear from their leadership contenders was almost none feel that boris johnson is leadership contenders was almost none feel that borisjohnson is the man to beat. he seems to be the frontrunner and it is interesting that he has kept a low profile by his standards over the last few months since he left government and maybe some mp‘s mines are changing in terms of how proud will he would be asa in terms of how proud will he would be as a leader. they recognise that there is a familiarity factor, he commands an appeal within the conservative party certainly more broadly and is far more recognisable than many of the other candidates to the public at large and it has been interesting to hear what he has had to say today whilst the other candidates, jeremy hunt, michael gove and others who have not declared their candidacy officially yet have been keeping quiet and paying tribute to theresa may, boris johnson has been talking about the sort of leadership he would look to provide and his brexit policy and
what it would be. he said the uk should leave the eu on the 31st of october with or without a deal and he has also suggests that he would try to renegotiate the withdrawal agreement or parts of it with the eu but he said that you have to keep no deal on the table as a way to do that. whether that promise to stick to that deadline will come back to haunt him we will have to see because theresa may said time and again that we would be coming out on the 31st of march with or without a deal, the 29th of march excuse me. and that never happened and she had to extend the process. it's a big promise to make for him at this stage. whoever takes over will have to bring together a warring party thatis to bring together a warring party that is unlike any i have ever seen for some it's impossible to see how thatis for some it's impossible to see how that is when you go back to being any kind of unified group. they will have to try and reconcile different aspects of this brexit bay. it's a huge challenge with the programme entry arithmetic not changing. the dynamics had not changed and a new prime minister will have to deal with the same problems that theresa
may has dealt with. this usually divisive issue of brexit has put the conservative party and left more divided than ever and never mind the fa ct divided than ever and never mind the fact that it is an issue of huge national importance that remains unresolved. without a general election or something else to somehow break the deadlock, it will be very difficult for a new leader to come in and pick up the pieces and create a consensus where there isn't one. there may be a small bounce for a new leader and a new prime minister and may be momentum for them to appeal to mps better nature to change their position on things but it is a big hope for them to have. a quick word to talk about theresa may, it seems brutes talk about her successor, it is about her legacy but it is hard to see what will it be beyond brexit. it will be that. she said here three years ago saying she wanted to tackle the printing injustices in society and be on the side of those who were
most disadvantage and she would point to things like housing policy, increased funding for the nhs, and tackling domestic violence. but those will be footnotes when the history books are written i think and it is brexit has been the defining may —— issue of theresa may pots or permission and that was the challenge she set us up to deliver and she admitted today that she failed. it seems like quite a long time ago. jonathan blake thank you very much indeed. theresa may rose to lead the conservative party with the decisive backing of her mps, after six years running the home office, and a reputation for tough talking. a remainer who became a cheerleader for brexit, she won the praise of leavers, but suffered disaster at the ballot box, after calling a general election and losing her majority. but ultimately it was brexit that led to her demise, another conservative leader toppled by the debate over europe. theresa may rose to the top job at one of the most turbulent periods in british political history. after the uk's vote to leave the european union, david cameron dramatically resigned and she became
the country's second female prime minister. as we leave the european union, we will forge a bold new, positive role for ourselves in the world, and we will make britain a country that works not for a privileged few but for all of us. during her first months as prime minister, she was under constant pressure to lay out her approach to brexit negotiations, but refused to give much away. brexit means brexit, and we are going to make a success of it. becoming prime minister had been a long—held ambition. the daughter of a vicar, theresa brasier, as she then was, was mainly state educated in oxfordshire before studying geography at oxford university. in her third year, she met her future husband, philip. after graduating, mrs may went to work in the city but she saw her future in politics. she became a councillor in south london and, after standing for parliament twice, she was elected the mp for maidenhead in 1997.
as party chairman, she made the case for conservative modernisation, telling her party some hard truths during their years in opposition. our base is too narrow and so occasionally are our sympathies. you know what some people call us? the nasty party. under david cameron, she became the longest serving home secretary of modern times but, as prime minister, she faced an even tougher challenge, trying to steer the uk and her party through brexit. this most cautious of politicians became one of westminster‘s biggest risk takers. i have concluded that the only way to guarantee certainty and stability for the years ahead is to hold this election and seek your support for the decisions i must take. the gamble backfired. she lost the conservatives their majority, only hanging on to power through a deal with the dup. her political misjudgments left her weakened, and reasserting
her authority didn't always go according to plan. her message during this important conference speech was lost amid a catalogue of interruptions, a prankster, a faulty set and persistent cough. she coughs. excuse me. after months of negotiations with brussels, mrs may agreed a withdrawal deal, but the compromise to avoid border checks on the island of ireland wasn't one that many in her party or her partners in government, the dup, could accept. the ayes to the right, 202. the noes to the left, 432. that was the first of three defeats in the commons, and mrs may was forced to ask the european union for a delay to brexit. nigel farage's new brexit party surged in popularity and her colleagues finally moved against her. theresa may never wanted brexit to define her time in office, but it was the backdrop to everything her government did. she was praised for her tenacity and sense of duty, but critics said
she lacked vision and regarded brexit as a damage limitation exercise. as the rain starts in downing street this evening let's get a look at the weather. the hello, good evening. the weather is looking more unsettled as we head into the bank holiday weekend. we had some warm sunshine today, best of it for the eastern side of the uk, the more cloud has been coming in from the atlantic, producing a few showers. some of those still around actually at the moment, across southern parts of england and wales will fade away overnight. we will see the rain across northern scotland or so moving through, so a lot of dry weather overnight. some clear spells across northern areas in particular and here we're going to find temperatures around six or 7 degrees, pretty mild elsewhere. we've got cloud though coming in from the atlantic into northern ireland, that's going to bring with it a little rain and drizzle fairly quickly in the morning, through the day that is going to set and across scotland as the cloud thickens, few spots of rain