Theresa May confirmed as new Conservative leader 'with immediate effect'

Ms May was elected unopposed

Jon Stone
Monday 11 July 2016 17:30 BST
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Theresa May: Going to make success of Brexit

Theresa May has been elected as the new leader of the Conservative party “with immediate effect”, it has been announced.

Ms May was confirmed as leader by the party’s influential 1922 committee and its board on Monday hours after her last rival dropped out of the Tory leadership contest.

Graham Brady, the Tory MP who chairs the committee, told reporters: “I can confirm that Mrs May has been elected leader of the Conservative Party with immediate effect.”

Ms May is not yet officially Prime Minister; David Cameron has said he will step down after Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday.

In a short statement in Westminster flanked by her party's MPs Ms May paid tribute to her rival Andrea Leadsom “for the dignity she has shown today” and David Cameron “for the leadership he has shown our party and country”.

She said he would provide "strong proven leadership to steer us through what will be uncertain political times" and that "Brexit means Brexit and we’re going to make a success of it".

"We need a strong new positive vision for the future of our country, a vision for a country that works not for the privileged few, but that works for every one of us," she said.

"We’re going to give people more control of their lives – that’s how together, we’re going to build a better Britain."

The Conservative leadership contest was triggered by Mr Cameron announcing his resignation in the wake of the European Union referendum result.

A staunch advocate of remaining in the European Union, the Prime Minister said he was not the right person to steer Britain's depature.

He said his successor should be in place by the Conservative party's annual conference, which will be held in October in Birmingham. That timescale was accelerated to September by the 1922 committee.

Ms May backed Remain during the European Union referendum but this morning again confirmed that she would complete Britain's departure from the bloc.

The longest serving Home Secretary in decades, Ms May will become Britain's second woman Prime Minister, following Margaret Thatcher.

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