LONDON, July 11 (UPI) — British Prime Minister David Cameron said he will resign by Wednesday, paving the way for Theresa May to replace him.
The move came hours after Andrea Leadsom abandoned the race for Britain’s Conservative Party leadership Monday, leaving May the only candidate for prime minister. Cameron later said the transfer of power will be completed by Wednesday evening.
Leadsom, the energy minister, endorsed May, currently the Home Secretary, for the position as she departed the race. May will quickly be named party leader, and thus Britain’s new prime minister
The election comes after a June referendum in which British voters chose to have Britain leave the European Union.
In a letter to the 1922 Committee, which presides over what was expected to be a nine-week campaign for party leadership, Leadsom said, “The referendum result represented a clear desire for change.
“A nine-week leadership campaign at such a critical point for our country is highly undesirable. The interests of our country are best served by the immediate appointment of a strong and well-supported prime minister. I am therefore withdrawing from the leadership election and I wish Theresa May the very greatest success. I assure her of my full support.”
The race for party leadership was reduced last week to two candidates, Leadsom and May, who were to campaign for the votes of 150,000 party members. With May as the only candidate, whether the Conservative Party seeks a vote is moot, and since the party has control of Parliament, she would become prime minister, following Cameron, who announced his resignation, effective in September, after the EU referendum.
May will be Britain’s second female prime minister, after Margret Thatcher, who served from 1979 to 1990.