17:00hours GMT — Theresa May has become the United Kingdom’s 76th prime minister. Earlier today, David Cameron had submitted his resignation as British prime minister to Queen Elizabeth II, and the latter had formally accepted it.
May’s convoy arrived in Buckingham Palace for an audience with the Queen shortly after. She invited May, who was accompanied by her husband Philip, to form a government.
Before heading to Buckingham Palace, Cameron had delivered remarks outside 10 Downing Street, saying, “It’s not been an easy journey, and of course we’ve not got every decision right, but I do believe that today our country is much stronger.”
He wished his successor the best, especially as she negotiates the country’s “Brexit” from the European Union. If he were granted one wish, he said, it would be the “continued success of this great country that I love so very much”.
The road to 10 Downing Street
Less than three weeks after Cameron offered to resign as British prime minister, following the outcome of a referendum on the country’s membership of the European Union, a woman will mount the saddle this Wednesday, July 13. On Monday, Theresa May was announced as the new Conservative Party leader and the next PM.
Mrs May, 59, promised to build a “better Britain” and to make the UK’s EU exit a “success”. Speaking outside Parliament, she said she was “honoured and humbled” to succeed David Cameron, after her only rival in the race, Andrea Leadsom, withdrew on Monday.
Mr Cameron, who has been UK prime minister since 2010, decided to quit after the UK voted to leave the EU on June 23.
Mrs May, the home secretary since 2010, praised Mr Cameron for his stewardship of the Tory party and the country. And she paid tribute to Mrs Leadsom for her “dignity” in withdrawing her leadership bid, as well as to the three other candidates who ran in the contest.
She said her leadership bid had been based on the need for “strong, proven leadership”, the ability to unite both party and country and a “positive vision” for Britain’s future.
Mrs May, who campaigned to stay in the EU, is expected to be invited to form government by Queen Elizabeth after Mr Cameron has tendered his resignation letter to her Wednesday evening.
Mrs May will be the second woman to serve as British PM. Many have observed she has similarities with Margaret Thatcher, who was PM from 1979 to 1990.
Born on October 1, 1956, Mrs Theresa May (born Brasier) married Mr Philip John May in 1980. They have no biological children.