The Home Secretary will be summoned to Buckingham Palace within days to be appointed as the successor to David Cameron after Andrea Leadsom ended her leadership bid.
Theresa May is ‘strong, competent and more than able to provide the leadership Britain needs’, David Cameron said today as he confirmed she will replace him as Prime Minister on Wednesday.
The Home Secretary won the Tory leadership contest today after her only rival Andrea Leadsom dropped out of the race before ballots were even sent out to Tory Party members amid claims she was naive and too inexperienced for No 10.
Mr Cameron emerged from No 10 this afternoon to confirm he would hold his final Cabinet meeting tomorrow, complete a valedictory PMQs on Wednesday and then take the short journey to Buckingham Palace to submit his resignation to the Queen.
The latest dramatic day in Westminster saw Mr Cameron’s Premiership effectively ended while he was opening the Farnborough Air Show in Hampshire alongside Sir Richard Branson.
The extraordinary moment when, shortly after noon, Mrs Leadsom abandoned her run at No 10 came less than a week after she won a surprise second place in a ballot of Tory MPs and capped an historic 17 days following the EU referendum on June 23.
Mrs Leadsom announced her bid to be Prime Minister on June 30 – the same morning as Michael Gove sensationally knifed Boris Johnson by launching his own doomed bid for the Tory crown.
The collapse of her campaign today comes after another bitter weekend of Tory infighting over her toxic suggestion being a mother would give her an edge over Mrs May in No 10.
The bloody referendum aftermath has left Mrs May standing alone far ahead of all her Conservative Party rivals and planning her government, which will get to work on Wednesday.
As she prepares to take office, Mrs May is already facing calls to call a snap general election – including even from the Labour Party which is mired in its own leadership contest after Angela Eagle gathered 51 nominations to force a contest against Jeremy Corbyn.