10:19AM, Friday 24 May 2019
Theresa May has said she will step down as Prime Minister in two weeks' time.
The Maidenhead MP announced the date after meeting the head of the Tory backbench 1922 Committee, Sir Graham Brady, this morning.
She will resign on June 7, she said, in a statement outside of Downing Street, but remain in post until a successor is chosen from the Conservative Party.
She said: "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 but 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."
Mrs May had previously promised to set out a timetable for her departure but, after terrible reaction to her speech on bringing her Brexit deal back for a fourth time, the calls for her to quit have intensified.
Her departure will trigger a Conservative Party leadership contest.
"It is, and will always remain, a matter of deep regret to me that I have not been able to deliver Brexit," she said.
"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.
"For many years the great humanitarian Sir Nicholas Winton – who saved the lives of hundreds of children by arranging their evacuation from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia through the Kindertransport – was my constituent in Maidenhead.
"At another time of political controversy, a few years before his death, he took me to one side at a local event and gave me a piece of advice.
"He said, ‘Never forget that compromise is not a dirty word. Life depends on compromise.’
"He was right."
The Advertiser has been told she is not stepping down as MP.
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