Theresa May made a tearful resignation speech on the morning of 24 May. As she expressed her “gratitude to have had the opportunity to serve a country I love”, the prime minister made a rare show of emotion as her voice cracked tearfully.
Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn nonetheless showed no sympathy for the outgoing prime minister, who is expected to step aside on 7 June.
In response to May’s resignation, Corbyn called for a general election:
Theresa May is right to resign. She's now accepted what the country's known for months: she can't govern, and nor can her divided and disintegrating party.
Whoever becomes the new Tory leader must let the people decide our country’s future, through an immediate General Election.
— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) May 24, 2019
In a separate statement, Corbyn added:
The burning injustices she promised to tackle three years ago are even starker today.
The Conservative Party has utterly failed the country over Brexit and is unable to improve people’s lives or deal with their most pressing needs.
Parliament is deadlocked and the Conservatives offer no solutions to the other major challenges facing our country.
Indeed, a politician complicit in the following disasters deserves little sympathy:
- Sponsoring the world’s worst humanitarian crisis in Yemen.
- Arming Israel – which has indiscriminately murdered Palestinians – at record levels.
- Selling arms to Turkey, whose president is a war criminal.
- Supporting a coup in Venezuela.
- Presiding over the Windrush scandal and “hostile environment” policy.
- Rising poverty among children and pensioners.
- Awful handling of Brexit.
- A shameful response to the Grenfell Tower fire.
This list, of course, is not exhaustive.
May nonetheless received a somewhat sympathetic response from the BBC‘s political editor Laura Kuenssberg:
It’s always absolutely brutal watching a PM quit – May obviously absolutely devastated having fought so long and so hard
— Laura Kuenssberg (@bbclaurak) May 24, 2019
Conservative Party leadership elections are expected to have concluded before the end of July.
Former foreign secretary Boris Johnson is currently the bookies’ favourite. Other likely candidates are former Brexit secretary Dominic Raab, as well as environment secretary Michael Gove.
With this in mind, UK politics may very well get worse before it gets any better.
We need your help ...
The coronavirus pandemic is changing our world, fast. And we will do all we can to keep bringing you news and analysis throughout. But we are worried about maintaining enough income to pay our staff and minimal overheads.
Now, more than ever, we need a vibrant, independent media that holds the government to account and calls it out when it puts vested economic interests above human lives. We need a media that shows solidarity with the people most affected by the crisis – and one that can help to build a world based on collaboration and compassion.
We have been fighting against an establishment that is trying to shut us down. And like most independent media, we don’t have the deep pockets of investors to call on to bail us out.
Can you help by chipping in a few pounds each month?