Theresa May has announced she will step down as UK Prime Minister, after three bruising years that saw her fail to deliver Brexit.
May said Friday she would quit as leader of the Conservative Party on Friday June 7.
Her announcement triggers the start of a contest to replace her as Conservative leader and Prime Minister.
“Ever since I first stepped through the door behind me as prime minister I have striven to make the United Kingdom a country that works not just for the privileged few but for everyone, and to honor the result of the referendum,” May says.
“I have done my best” to deliver Brexit, May says — but she has failed to do so.
“I have tried three times.”
May adds it is a matter of personal regret for her that she has failed to deliver on her flagship policy.
“I have done everything I can to convince MPs to back this deal,” May said of her attempts to pass a Brexit plan through Parliament.
“Sadly, I have not been able — I tried three times,” she added. Her failure to do so will be her lasting legacy as prime minister.
“I believe it was right to persevere….it is now clear to me that it is in the best interest of the country for a new PM to lead that effort,” May said.
She held back tears throughout the speech, but her voice croaked and May was visibly tearful as she came to her conclusion.
May lists what she sees as some of her domestic achievements during her three years as Prime Minister, and reminds reporters that she was the second female UK prime minister — but not the last.
“Our politics may be under strain, but there is so much that is good about this country.” She adds that she is leaving with no ill will.
She says it has been the honor of her life to hold the post of prime minister, holding back tears and choking up at the end of her statement as she says she has served the country she loves.