Former British Leader Theresa May Says She’ll Quit Parliament Bbefore an Election this Year

LONDON (AP) — Former British Prime Minister Theresa May announced Friday that she will quit as a lawmaker when an election is called this year, ending a 27-year parliamentary career that included three years as the nation’s leader during a period roiled by Brexit.

May told her local newspaper, the Maidenhead Advertiser, that her work on fighting human trafficking and modern slavery was taking up more of her time and “I have realized that, looking ahead, I would no longer be able to do my job as an MP in the way I believe is right and my constituents deserve.”

May, 67, has been the member of Parliament for Maidenhead, west of London, since 1997. She served in several government posts, including home secretary between 2010 and 2016, before being selected as Conservative leader and prime minister in the chaotic aftermath of Britain’s June 2016 vote to leave the European Union. She was Britain’s second female prime minister, after fellow Conservative Margaret Thatcher.

Brexit ultimately derailed her premiership, and she quit as party leader and prime minister in mid-2019 after repeatedly failing to get her divorce deal with the EU through a bitterly divided Parliament.

She also had tense relations with then-U.S. President Donald Trump, who accused her of “making a mess” of Brexit.

Unlike many former prime ministers, who often make a quick exit from Parliament once out of office, May remained a backbench legislator while three Conservative successors – Boris Johnson, Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak – grappled with the political and economic consequences of Brexit.

She was occasionally critical in public of her more populist successors — especially Johnson, whose political machinations helped cause her downfall.

Sunak tweeted that May “defines what it means to be a public servant.”

Sunak must call an election by the end of the year, but the date is up to him. He has said it is likely to be in the fall. Opinion polls show the Conservatives, in power since 2010, training far behind the main opposition Labour Party.

By JILL LAWLESS Associated Press


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