Theresa May set to become Prime Minister after Leadsom withdraws

Theresa May to face Andrea Leadsom in battle for Conservative Party leadership

Theresa May has been confirmed as the new Conservative Party leader after Andrea Leadsom quit the contest this afternoon.

Mrs Leadsom made the announcement this lunchtime, meaning Maidenhead MP Theresa May was the only candidate standing to become leader and therefore Prime Minister.

Shortly afterwards, Graham Brady, chairman of the Conservative 1922 Committee, confirmed the process will now start to formally confirm Mrs May as leader.

He added there was no need for another leadership election but would not confirm whether Theresa May would be Prime Minister by the end of the week.

In her speech, Mrs Leadsom said: ""[Theresa May] will be able to provide the strong and unifying government that we urgently need."

She also said a nine-week leadership battle was 'highly undesirable' at such a 'critical moment' and the fact she had the support of less than 25 per cent of Conservative MPs was not enough to be leader of a strong, stable government.

She added Mrs May is 'ideally placed to implement Brexit on the best possible terms' and there needs to be a new Prime Minister in place as soon as possible who is 'committed to fulfilling our manifesto'.

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