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UK's May officially quits as party leader, starting succession race

UK's May officially quits as party leader, starting succession race

May's time as leader has been dominated by Brexit, with her party divided over the issue, and the failure to get her deal through Parliament.

She will remain as prime minister for a few weeks while the party picks a successor.

Despite failing to win the seat, the Brexit Party's lead over the Conservatives will increase the pressure on those running to replace May to pursue a cleaner break with the bloc. She broke all records with the number of ministers who quit her government during her less than three years at Downing Street.

"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", said the Labour leader.

Meanwhile, the Conservatives fell to third place in the Peterborough by-election, behind winners Labour and the Brexit Party in second place, in what is traditionally a Tory-Labour marginal seat.

Her promise to leave the EU's institutions and end free movement of workers delighted eurosceptic MPs, but caused dismay among many pro-Europeans.

Leader of the Brexit Party Nigel Farage speaks as he and newly elected Members of the European Parliament from Brexit Party attend a news conference following the results of the European Parliament elections, in London, Britain, May 27, 2019.

Despite the loss, Farage said the result showed that British politics had "fundamentally changed", with the stranglehold of the long-dominant Conservative and Labour parties now broken.

She finally acknowledged defeat in a tearful resignation speech last month, the culmination of months of political turmoil that has slowly crumbled all of her authority. He said Britain was "on course to leave by October 31", but he'd be willing to agree to a further delay if needed to finalise a deal. Parliament has repeatedly voted to rule out leaving without a deal, though it's not clear how lawmakers could stop a prime minister who was determined to do it.

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He is seeking to persuade Conservatives that he is the only candidate who could win a new national election for the Conservative Party.

She was forced by her party to agree to set out a timetable for her departure, but asked for time to give lawmakers a fourth chance to vote on the agreement in early June.

Other front runners are playing catch up, with the current foreign minister, Jeremy Hunt, and environment minister Michael Gove taking a more moderate stance on Brexit.

With the worst performers eliminated each time, the goal is to have two candidates left by June 20.

"I believe that European leaders want to find a way through this", Gove wrote in the Daily Mail.

The letter goes on to say that there has been a "lack of activity and focus" due to the Tory leadership contest.

Suspending parliament - officially it would be called proroguing - would render lawmakers powerless and unable to vote to block the government from leaving the European Union on the latest departure deadline of October 31.

Most economists and businesses say a no-deal Brexit would cause economic turmoil, imposing obstacles overnight between the United Kingdom and the European Union, its biggest trading partner. "I look back and I think I wish I hadn't done that", he said.

Mr Johnson, a leading campaigner in the 2016 referendum who quit the government a year ago over Mrs May's plan, is among several would-be candidates who say they are willing to do this.


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