Theresa May says 'Brexit means Brexit' as she officially announces Conservative party candidacy

Emma Billingham

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Emma Billingham

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Theresa May

Maidenhead MP Theresa May has thrown her hat into the ring to become the next leader of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister.

In a speech this morning the Home Secretary stated that she feels the party and the country needs 'strong, proven, leadership' to reassure the country.

Mrs May added that though she did campaign for the UK to remain in the European Union, 'Brexit means Brexit, and there will be no second referendum'.

She said: "I will set up a cabinet office designated to negotiating the exit from the European Union with a Secretary of State that was a member of the Leave campaign."

She also said she will not invoke Article 50 to leave the European Union until the end of the year.

When asked whether she can lead negotiations to get the best deal to leave the European Union, Mrs May answered: "Not only have I sat around those EU tables, I have also delivered. I think the last time Boris did a deal with the Germans he came home with three nearly new water cannons."

Mrs May spoke of her accomplishments as Home Secretary, including the deportation of Abu Qatada from Britain to Jordan.

"I am someone who has a job and gets on with it," she added.

A focus on ensuring the Conservatives work to keep people in employment and driving down the deficit was also a big part of Mrs May's speech. She praised David Cameron for the work he had done while in office and thanked him for what he had achieved. 

Mrs May, who has been an MP since 1997, added that a General Election would not be called until 2020.

The bid for leadership was announced in a letter to The Times in which the Home Secretary stated her three clear reasons for standing; from needing a strong, proven leader to 'steer the country through this period of economic and political uncertainty, and to negotiate the best possible terms as we leave the European Union'.

She also spoke of the need to unite the Conservative party and country, as well as the need for a 'bold, new, positive vision for the future of our country'.

Mrs May added: "We need to contemplate changes to the Conservative Party itself, because we can't build a country that works for everybody unless we are truly a party that works for everybody."

Michael Gove, Stephen Crabb and Liam Fox have also all announced their candidacy for the leadership of the Conservative Party.

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