LONDON, July 5 (UPI) — Home Secretary Theresa May easily won on Tuesday the first round of Conservative party voting for Britain’s next prime minister.
May won the first round of voting over Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom, and is the favorite to be her party’s leader, and consequently the country’s second female prime minister.
It will also be a job that will involve include leading the island nation out of the political and economic crisis of last month’s decision by voters to leave the European Union.
May was supported by 165 MPs to Leadsom’s 66 MPs. The home secretary is now likely to be one of two candidates Conservative party politicians put forward for a vote to all party members.
Several “Eurosceptic” MPs backed Leadsom, hoping to see someone who campaigned for Britain leaving the European Union actually be in charge of negotiating its exit.
“There is a big job before us,” May said after the vote. “To unite our party and the country, to negotiate the best possible deal as we leave the EU, and to make Britain work for everyone.”