UK PM set to quit as key Brexit backer resigns
LONDON: British Prime Minister Theresa May is expected today to announce her resignation, The Times reported, without citing a source.
Mrs May will remain as prime minister while her successor is elected in a two-stage process under which two final candidates face a ballot of 125,000 Conservative Party members, the newspaper said.
It is one of several British media reports that claim she is quitting, the only difference being the date.
This has been contradicted by her spokesman, who said the British Prime Minister remains focused on delivering Brexit.
"The Prime Minister is listening to her colleagues about the Bill and will be having further discussions," the spokesman told reporters.
"She is focused on delivering Brexit."
Yesterday, her government postponed a crucial Brexit vote scheduled for the first week of next month, following an outcry from hardline Brexiteers over concessions made.
"We will update the House on the publication and introduction of the Withdrawal Agreement Bill on our return from the Whitsun recess" on June 4, government official Mark Spencer told MPs.
Mr Spencer said the government had planned to hold the vote on a landmark piece of legislation to implement Brexit on June 7 but had not been able to fix this date.
In an interesting development, Mrs May's spokesman said a visit by US President Donald Trump next week would go ahead as planned, and that she was looking forward to welcoming him.
More ministers could resign from her government, following the Leader of the House of Commons Andrea Leadsom who quit late on Wednesday, BBC Radio said.
The beleaguered premier is in the last throes of a tumultuous rule focused all-but exclusively on guiding her fractured country out of the European Union.
But three overwhelming rejections by Parliament of the terms she struck with the other 27 nations last year have forced Britain to miss the original March 29 departure date and plead for more time.
Anxious members of Mrs May's party met behind closed doors on Wednesday to discuss changes to the rules that would let them vote no-confidence in her leadership in the days to come.
Her woes were made worse when Ms Leadsom - one of Cabinet's strongest Brexit backers - resigned from her post as the government's representative in Parliament over Mrs May's handling of the slowly unfolding crisis.
"I no longer believe that our approach will deliver on the (2016) referendum results," Ms Leadsom said in her resignation letter. - REUTERS, AFP
Get The New Paper on your phone with the free TNP app. Download from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store now