Theresa May has said "Brexit means Brexit" and that there will be no attempts to stay within the European Union, as the Home Secretary set out her campaign to be prime minister. 

Addressing supporters in Birmingham, Ms May, who is hedging her bets as the “unity” candidate in the Conservative leadership contest, said: “First, our country needs strong, proven leadership to steer us through this time of economic and political uncertainty and to negotiate the best deal for Britain as we leave the EU and forge a new role for ourselves in the world.

“Because Brexit means Brexit, and we're going to make a success of it…Second, we need to unite our party and our country… And third, we need a bold new positive vision for the future of our country - a vision of a country that works not for the privileged few, but for every one of us.”

Ms May also said she had accepted an apology from Andrea Leadsom, her rival in the contest to succeed David Cameron, but refused to elaborate further and pointed to her clean campaign pledge.

"I accept the apology and I am here today actually ensuring that what I am doing is talking about what I would want to do as prime minister and leader of the Conservative Party,” she said.

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