AS IT HAPPENED: Theresa May to become Prime Minister

Staff reporter

Theresa May

Maidenhead MP Theresa May will become Prime Minister after being confirmed as leader of the Conservative Party today.

Andrea Leadsom, Mrs May's only rival for the position, pulled out of the race this lunchtime and David Cameron confirmed this afternoon he will resign on Wednesday. Mrs May should take up her post at Number 10 by Wednesday evening.

We'll be bringing you reaction to the news.


Right, we're signing off for now but will be back if there are any developments this evening.

We will keep you updated throughout the week as Theresa May prepares to take over as Prime Minister on Wednesday.

Have a good evening!


Speaking outside St Stephen’s Entrance at the Houses of Parliament, Mrs May said: “I’m honoured and humbled to have been chosen by the party to become leader.

“I would like to pay tribute to the other candidates and I would like to pay tribute to Andrea Leadsom for the dignity she has shown today.

“I would also like to pay tribute to David Cameron for the leadership he has shown our country.

“During this campaign my case has been based on three things:

“The need for strong, proven leadership to steer us through uncertain times, the need to negotiate a new deal with the EU and forge a new place for us in the world.

“Brexit means Brexit and we’re going to make a success of it.

“We’re going to unite our country and we need a strong, positive vision for our country – a country that works not juts for the privileged few, but for each and every one of us and that’s how we will build a better Britain.”


She repeated the 'Brexit means Brexit' line again.


In a statement to MPs and the media, Theresa May said she was 'honoured and humbled' to become Conservative Party leader.


Liam Fox MP, a Leave campaigner who backed Theresa May's leadership bid after being eliminated from the race himself, has spoken to the BBC.

He said: "I think it's wonderful.
"We have a serious, experienced leader in serious times and I think the country can feel reassured that we have a Prime Minister with the depth of experience we're going to need."

On whether there should be a new General Election or party membership vote, he said:
"I think the public will be very relieved that the period of uncertainty is over.
"We will have a new government in place by the end of the week and I think it will be reassuring for the country, for our partners around the world and it's a very good future for us all."


Theresa May will make a statement very soon.


Mrs May has been elected to the post with 'immediate effect'.


Graham Brady, chairman of the Conservative backbench 1922 Committee, has confirmed Theresa May is the new Tory leader.


Theresa May was out and about at a number of engagements in her Maidenhead constituency over the weekend, including a service commemorating the Battle of the Somme.


In a statement outside Number 10, David Cameron said:

“I think Andrea Leadsom has made the right decision to stand aside and its clear Theresa May has the overwhelming support of the Conservative Parliamentary Party.

“I’m also delighted that Theresa May will be the next Prime Minister.

“She is strong, competent and she is more than able to provide the leadership that our country is going to need in the years ahead and she will have my full support.

“Obviously, with these changes we now don’t need to have a prolonged period of transition and so tomorrow I will chair my last cabinet meeting.

“On Wednesday I will attend Prime Minister’s Questions and then after that I expect to go to the palace to offer my resignation and a new Prime Minister will be in the building behind me by Wednesday evening.”


David Cameron has announced he will resign on Wednesday after Prime Minister's Questions. Theresa May should be installed as Prime Minister by the evening.


Theresa May is reportedly expected to address Tory MPs shortly after 5pm.


Windsor MP Adam Afriyie has offered his congratulations to the Maidenhead MP:


Chancellor George says it is in 'everyone's interest' that Theresa May takes over a Prime Minister in the 'coming days':


Just in case we do get a General Election, ICM has published a poll of voting intention. Not good news for Labour...


Theresa May came into the Advertiser offices shortly after announcing her leadership bid. Here is what she had to say:


Let us know your thoughts:


Theresa May has arrived back at Parliament having cut short her national tour.


The Maidenhead branch of UKIP has tweeted us to say Theresa May needs to focus on being Prime Minister:


This from Lord O'Shaughnessy, a Conservative peer from Maidenhead:


A mixed reaction on our Facebook page so far.

Join the debate here.


Reporter James Harrison has spoken to Royal Borough leader Cllr Simon Dudley about Theresa May:

He said: “Politics is a fast moving thing.

“I think Andrea Leadsom has made the right decision, I think the country needs stability and certainty and a firm view on what Brexit is and I think she [Leadsom] has done the right thing by withdrawing.

“And that now clears the way for Theresa to become our new Prime Minister.

“She has been a fantastic constituency MP and I’m sure she will be a fantastic PM.”

On what happens next:

“I think that will be decided by the 1922 Committee.

“I’m sure that will start to come clear over the next few days and weeks.

“I think there will be an orderly transition for Theresa to become Prime Minister over the next few days.

“I think what the country now needs is a new Prime Minister and new cabinet and to start to discharge the mandate it’s got in terms of leaving the EU.”

He added: “I think there’s now going to be a lot of focus on the Royal Borough and I’m sure Theresa will continue to be the fantastic constituency MP she has been and we as councillors will continue to do what we do, which is make sure the Royal Borough is a fantastic place to live and that we are committed to our residents.”


Want to know more about Theresa May's voting record in Parliament?

Here's how she voted on some of the key issues.


We spoke to Theresa May nearly 20 years ago when she was first elected as Maidenhead MP.

Here's what she said.


Lots of commotion in the Advertiser office at the moment. You might say it's MAYhem. *cough*


Jon Trickett MP, Labour’s election co-ordinator, has also called for a General Election:

"It now looks likely that we are about to have the coronation of a new Conservative Prime Minister.

"It is crucial,  given the instability caused by the Brexit vote,  that the country has a democratically elected Prime Minister. I am now putting the whole of the party on a General Election footing. It is time for the Labour Party to unite and ensure the millions of people in the country left behind by the Tories’ failed economic policies, have the opportunity to elect a Labour government."


Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron has called on Theresa May to call an early General Election:


This from Theresa May's campaign manager Chris Grayling:

“She is enormously honoured to be entrusted with this task by so many of her parliamentary colleagues.

“As Andrea’s statement made clear, now is the time for us to unite as a party and to get on with the job of doing everything we can to secure a strong, prosperous and successful future for our country.

“I know and we all know that Theresa will do everything she can to equip our country for the challenges that lie ahead.”


Before the news of Andrea Leadsom's withdrawal was announced, Theresa May officially launched her national leadership campaign:

‘Brexit means Brexit’ was one of the key promises made by Mrs May as she set out her stall to become the next Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative Party.

Speaking in Birmingham to officially launch her nationwide campaign, the Maidenhead MP and Remain campaigner presented herself as a unity candidate able to reach across the post-referendum divide.

“We’re going to forge a new role for ourselves in the world because Brexit means Brexit and we’re going to make a success of it,” was the pledge, appearing to squash any lingering hopes that the vote could be re-run or the result ignored.

“There will be no attempt to remain a part of the EU, there will be no second referendum – as Prime Minister I will make sure we leave the EU,” she later added.

She also set out ambitions for radical social and economic reforms, including proposals to wrench power away from boardrooms, as well as setting the future tone for divorce negations with the EU.

She said: “If we’re going to govern in the interests of the whole country then we can’t be defined wholly by the terms of our withdrawal, but we also need a country that will deliver true social reform.

“If you’re poor, you will die on average nine years younger.

“If you’re black, you are treated more harshly by the criminal justice system.”

She added: “You might have a job, but you don’t always have job security, you have a home, but you worry about mortgage rates.

“The Conservative Party will put itself at the service of ordinary working people – we will make Britain a country that works for everyone.”

Key to this is a pledge to further get to grips with corporate tax avoidance and evasion, a process already started by Chancellor George Osbourne.

Specifically citing the examples of Amazon, Google and Starbucks, she said they all make use of facilities and services paid for by taxes, whether the roads used to transport their goods or the education of their workers, and therefore they should be reminded of their responsibilities to maintain this by paying their way.

Greater scrutiny of boardroom practices were also put on the agenda, including proposals to better regulate bonuses for bosses and make sure company workers are represented at the highest levels.

In another nod to her commitment to improve the lot of ‘ordinary people’ reform of government energy policy was also put on the table.

“I want us to be prepared to reform competition law,” she said.

“If there’s evidence that big utility firms are abusing their positions we should do something about it.”


Brexit campaigner Boris Johnson, who once seemed the clear favourite to succeed David Cameron, has reacted to this afternoon's dramatic developments on Twitter:


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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