Theresa May to become UK Prime Minister as opposition begins leadership election

Monday, July 11, 2016

Today the Conservative Party, the current governing party of the United Kingdom (UK), announced Theresa May would become the new party leader following the decision by her leadership rival Andrea Leadsom to withdraw from the contest. This announcement was made on the same day it was confirmed a leadership contest has been formally triggered within the UK Labour Party, the official opposition, after Angela Eagle gathered the needed support to challenge Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the party.

Theresa May to become leader of the Conservative Party

File photo of Theresa May, 2015.
Image: UK Home Office.

Following the withdrawal of Mrs Leadsom from the Conservative Party leadership election, Party official George Brady said he was expecting to appoint Mrs May as the new party leader. Mrs May, the current home secretary, would succeed David Cameron in this role, and it is expected she will also succeed him as Prime Minister.

Mrs Leadsom described a leadership election as "highly undesirable" for the country as she announced her decision to withdraw. She also said she felt she had insufficient support to win a leadership election.

Mr Cameron originally announced his intention to resign following the UK EU referendum, and has now said he intends to offer his resignation following Prime Minister's Questions on Wednesday.

Labour Party to hold leadership election

The Labour Party confirmed a leadership election had been officially triggered. Mrs Eagle has announced her candidacy, and it is understood she has the level of support from Labour Members of Parliament to add her name to the ballot.

Mrs Eagle was one of many members of Mr Corbyn's Shadow Cabinet to resign following the EU Referendum. She today said Mr Corbyn "is unable to provide the leadership" needed as she launched her leadership bid.

It is unclear if Mr Corbyn's name will be automatically be added to the ballot as the current incumbent. A decision by the party's executive committee is reportedly to be made tomorrow to decide on the matter.