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Under fire PM Theresa May gets a reprieve until early June

Facing mounting pressure to announce departure date, Prime Minister Theresa May and an influential committee of the Conservative party on Thursday agreed she would announce a timetable to resign in early June.

world Updated: May 16, 2019 21:29 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Prasun Sonwalkar
Hindustan Times, London
Theresa May,World news,Conservative party
Prime Minister Theresa May(AFP file photo)

Facing mounting pressure to announce departure date, Prime Minister Theresa May and an influential committee of the Conservative party on Thursday agreed she would announce a timetable to resign in early June.

The decision on her departure was made during a ‘very frank’ meeting between May and the so-called 1922 Committee, following intense pressure on her either to resign or face the prospect of being forced to quit.

The decision is seen as a temporary reprieve for May, whose authority has been curbed within the cabinet as well as the party in recent months. Contenders have been openly jockeying for her position, particularly after the party suffered serious setbacks in the recent local elections.

Irrespective of the Brexit withdrawal bill being passed or voted down again in early June, May will set out the timetable to resign, according to Graham Brady, chairman of the committee. The process is now underway even though no firm date of her resignation has been agreed.

He said in a statement: “The prime minister is determined to secure our departure from the European Union and is devoting her efforts to securing the 2nd reading of the withdrawal agreement bill in the week commencing 3rd June 2019 and the passage of that bill and the consequent departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union by the summer”.

“We have agreed that she and I will meet following the 2nd reading of the bill to agree a timetable for the election of a new leader of the Conservative and Unionist party”.

May is planning to re-introduce the EU withdrawal bill for the fourth time in the week beginning June 3, but rebels have already announced their intention to vote against it. Her approach to Brexit has faced flak from various quarters, inside and outside her party.

Meanwhile, Boris Johnson, former foreign secretary, on Thursday confirmed that he will contest the leadership election when May resigns. Several cabinet ministers are also in the fray, particularly foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt.

First Published: May 16, 2019 21:29 IST