LONDON, July 11 (UPI) — Andrea Leadsom said she plans to quit the race for Britain’s Conservative Party leadership, leaving Theresa May the only candidate for prime minister.
Leadsom, the energy minister, endorsed May, currently the Home Secretary, for the position. May could be named party leader, and thus Britain’s new prime minister Monday.
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. It is unclear if party rules require another name, besides that of May, on the ballot, or if May can immediately be installed as Conservative Party leader. Since the party has control of Parliament, she would become prime minister, following David Cameron, who announced his resignation, effective in September, after the EU referendum.