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Friday, 24 May 2019

The End Of May: Theresa May Breaks Down In Tears Again Behind Closed Doors Minutes After Resigning

Her voice cracking, Mrs May said it had been the 'honour of my life' to be PM, and she hoped she would not be the last woman to lead the country
Theresa May repeatedly broke down in tears today as she admitted her Brexit-wracked premiership is coming to an end - first on live TV and then behind closed doors.

Watched by husband Philip, the Prime Minister was overcome by emotion on the steps of Downing Street as she conceded that her desperate struggle to get the UK out of the EU will end in failure.  

'I've done my best,' she said. 'I have done everything I can to convince MPs to back that deal ... sadly I have not been able to do so.

'It is and will always remain a matter of deep regret to me that I have not been able to deliver Brexit.'


Mrs May was almost unable to continue as she voiced her pride at having served the country. She declared she will resign as Conservative leader on June 7, triggering a contest that should be complete by the end of July. 

And there were more tears when she went back inside No10, as she paid tribute to her 'rock' husband during an address thanking her staff and advisers. MailOnline understands Mrs May welled up when she said of her time in office, 'it's been a journey'.  

The dramatic scenes came after Mrs May's last-ditch effort to get her EU deal through the Commons backfired spectacularly. Tories were up in arms and the Cabinet mounted an open revolt after she offered MPs a vote on holding a second referendum and joining a temporary customs union with the EU.

Boris Johnson quickly paid tribute to Mrs May's 'stoical service to our country' after her speech - despite spending recent months trying to oust her
The PM humiliatingly pulled her Withdrawal Agreement Bill - known as WAB - yesterday after accepting the reality of her demise.  

Sir Graham Brady, the chair of the powerful Tory 1922 committee, met her in No10 this morning. He had been instructed by Tory backbenchers to enforce an exit date if Mrs May refused to volunteer one, with MPs threatening to change party rules to allow a fresh no-confidence vote.

Jeremy Corbyn immediately seized on the news to demand a general election, saying the Conservatives were 'divided and disintegrating'.  

Boris Johnson also kicked off the Tory leadership battle by declaring that the UK should leave the EU on October 31 'deal or no deal' - while Jeremy Hunt confirmed he will be a candidate.

But despite the brutal assault on her position from her own side, there was an outpouring of sympathy today after Mrs May finally fell on her sword.

Mr Johnson paid tribute to her 'stoical service to our country', urging politicians to 'follow her urgings' by 'coming together to deliver Brexit'. 

Andrea Leadsom, whose resignation as Commons Leader put the final nail in Mrs May's political coffin, tweeted: 'A very dignified speech by @theresa_may. An illustration of her total commitment to country and duty. She did her utmost, and I wish her all the very best.'  

David Cameron also weighed in, describing it as a 'strong and brave speech'. 
Jeremy Corbyn immediately seized on the news to demand a general election, saying the Conservatives were 'divided and disintegrating'

Mrs May's decision to announce her plans to step aside came after senior Cabinet ministers warned her they were on the brink of withdrawing their support over her decision to open the door to a second Brexit referendum in a last-ditch bid to get her deal approved by MPs.
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt told Mrs May to abandon plans to put her Withdrawal Agreement Bill to a vote by MPs next month.
Mr Hunt, one of more than a dozen Tory MPs hoping to succeed her, said it was not fair to ask loyal MPs to vote for a toxic compromise that had no chance of succeeding. 

May urges MPs to heed 'UK's Schindler' and compromise 

Theresa May recalled advice from the late Sir Nicholas Winton (pictured) in her speech
Theresa May recalled advice from the late Sir Nicholas Winton (pictured) in her speech
Theresa May recalled advice from the late Sir Nicholas Winton, hailed as 'Britain's Schindler' after saving hundreds of children from Nazi tyranny, as she set out the timetable for her departure.
The Prime Minister said the humanitarian had been a constituent of hers in Maidenhead for many years, and once told her that compromise is 'not a dirty word'.
'He was right,' said Mrs May, speaking outside Number 10.
Sir Nicholas organised the rescue of 669 Jewish children from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia on the eve of the Second World War before helping them to begin new lives in Britain.
The London-born stockbroker founded the Kindertransport following a visit to Prague at the end of 1938, during which he felt compelled to help save children there from almost certain death.
His bravery was only made known to the public half a century later, when his family happened upon an old briefcase in the attic containing lists of children and letters from their parents.
Sir Nicholas died in 2015, aged 106, and Mrs May, then the home secretary, was among political dignitaries who celebrated his life at a memorial service the year after. 
Home Secretary Sajid Javid, another potential leadership candidate, warned her he could not back the legislation unless she dropped the option of a second referendum.
Their interventions followed the resignation of Commons leader Andrea Leadsom, who quit on Wednesday night in protest at the scale of the concessions to Labour.
Sir Graham arrived for today's meeting armed with the results of a secret ballot of senior Tories which is thought to authorise him to call an immediate vote of no confidence in her leadership if she refuses to go. 
Mrs May told MPs on Wednesday that her 'new deal' Brexit – which was designed to win over Labour MPs – would be published today and voted on in the week beginning June 3.
But the move was dropped after Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay, who would have to oversee the legislation, said he could not support it in its current form.
In her speech, Mrs May recalled advice from the late Sir Nicholas Winton, hailed as 'Britain's Schindler' after saving hundreds of children from Nazi tyranny, as she set out the timetable for her departure.
The Prime Minister said the humanitarian had been a constituent of hers in Maidenhead for many years, and once told her that compromise is 'not a dirty word'.
'He was right,' said Mrs May, speaking outside Number 10.
Sir Nicholas organised the rescue of 669 Jewish children from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia on the eve of the Second World War before helping them to begin new lives in Britain.
The London-born stockbroker founded the Kindertransport following a visit to Prague at the end of 1938, during which he felt compelled to help save children there from almost certain death.
His bravery was only made known to the public half a century later, when his family happened upon an old briefcase in the attic containing lists of children and letters from their parents.
Sir Nicholas died in 2015, aged 106, and Mrs May, then the home secretary, was among political dignitaries who celebrated his life at a memorial service the year after.
Prominent Tory Brexiteer Steve Baker, who strongly opposed the PM's Brexit deal and is considering a run for the top job, tweeted: 'Very dignified statement from Theresa May, beginning to set out the many things which she has achieved in office. This is a sad but necessary day.' 
Environment Secretary Michael Gove tweeted: 'A moving speech from a Prime Minister who deserves our respect and gratitude. Thank you @theresa_may.'  
Brexit Party Leader Nigel Farage tweeted: 'It is difficult not to feel for Mrs May, but politically she misjudged the mood of the country and her party. Two Tory leaders have now gone whose instincts were pro-EU. Either the party learns that lesson or it dies.' 

'I did my best': Theresa's emotional speech on the steps of Downing Street

Back in 2016, we gave the British people a choice.
Against all predictions, the British people voted to leave the European Union.
I feel as certain today as I did three years ago that in a democracy, if you give people a choice you have a duty to implement what they decide.
I have done my best to do that. I negotiated the terms of our exit and a new relationship with our closest neighbours that 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 7 June so that a successor can be chosen... 
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.
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. 
As we strive to find the compromises we need in our politics – whether to deliver Brexit, or to restore devolved government in Northern Ireland – we must remember what brought us here.
Because the referendum was not just a call to leave the EU but for profound change in our country.
A call to make the United Kingdom a country that truly works for everyone. I am proud of the progress we have made over the last three years...  
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.
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: 'That Boris Johnson as PM is a serious proposition is proof that the Tories have taken leave of their senses. 'Nothing - apart from Brexit obvs - has done more to trash the UK's global reputation in last three years than his risible tenure as Foreign Secretary.'  
Scottish Conservative Leader Ruth Davidson said: 'The Prime Minister has always put country before party and, by announcing her resignation and setting out a plan for an orderly departure, she has shown that commitment again today.' 
Former PM David Cameron alluded to his own resignation as he paid tribute to the spirit of 'duty and service' which had driven her time in office. 
'Theresa is right that compromise is not a dirty word and she should be thanked for her tireless efforts on behalf of the country,' he said in a statement. 
'I know how painful it is to accept that your time is up and a new leader is required. She has made the right decision - and I hope that the spirit of compromise is continued.' 
Three years ago Mr Cameron himself emerged onto the steps of No10 to declare the country needed 'fresh leadership' after dramatically voting to leave the EU. 
European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker 'followed Prime Minister May's announcement this morning without personal joy', a spokesman said.
Deputy chief spokeswoman Mina Andreeva added: 'The president very much liked and appreciated working with Prime Minister May, and has said before Theresa May is a woman of courage for whom he has great respect.
'He will equally respect and establish working relations with any new prime minister, whomever they may be, without stopping his conversations with Prime Minister May.
'Our position on the Withdrawal Agreement has been set out by my colleague yesterday. There is no change to that.
'We have set out our position on the Withdrawal Agreement and on the political declaration.
'The European Commission and the Article 50 format has set out its position and we remain available for anyone who will be the new prime minister.'  
Former Brexit secretary David Davis has said the next prime minister should go back to Brussels to persuade them to drop the Northern Ireland backstop.
'I think they will be willing to talk to us,' he told BBC Radio 4's The World at One.
'They are all very concerned about the impact on the European economy of a no-deal.
'If we go back, I think we have got a decent chance of negotiating but we have also got to be ready to undertake no deal if it is absolutely forced on us.'
The Mail revealed yesterday that Mrs May had accepted her time was up and was ready to announce plans for a 'dignified' departure.
Former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith said if Mrs May refused to heed the message from her MPs and Cabinet it was up to her husband to tell her that her time was up.
He told Talk Radio: 'The person closest to her is clearly her husband, and I think somebody has to say look, nobody likes this... Politics is a nasty, sometimes brutal, ghastly business. 
Michael Gove paid tribute to the PM as she prepares to depart
Andrea Leadsom, who quit Cabinet this week, also praised the outgoing PM
Environment Secretary Michael Gove and Andrea Leadsom, who quit as Commons leader on Wednesday night, were among those paying tribute to Mrs May
Mrs May's face crumpled at the end of her speech outside No10 today, admitting that she will not be the PM to secure Brexit
Mrs May's face crumpled at the end of her speech outside No10 today, admitting that she will not be the PM to secure Brexit
Mrs May apparently made up her mind to quit earlier this week, but did not deliver the news until after European elections
Mrs May apparently made up her mind to quit earlier this week, but did not deliver the news until after European elections

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