Former UK Prime Minister Announces Retirement from Parliamentary Politics

Fri Mar 08 2024
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LONDON: Former British Prime Minister Theresa May announced on Friday that she will step down as lawmaker upon the calling of this year’s election. Her 27-year tenure in parliament included three years as prime minister during the turbulent Brexit era.

In an interview with the Maidenhead Advertiser, May cited her increasing commitment to combating human trafficking and modern slavery as a reason for her decision, stating, “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.”

Having represented Maidenhead, situated west of London, since 1997, May held various government positions, including Home Secretary from 2010 to 2016, before assuming the role of Conservative leader and Prime Minister amidst the fallout of the 2016 Brexit referendum. She became Britain’s second female Prime Minister after Margaret Thatcher.

However, her premiership was overshadowed by Brexit, culminating in her resignation as party leader and Prime Minister in mid-2019 after facing obstacles in securing parliamentary approval for her Brexit deal with the EU. May also faced strained relations with then-US President Donald Trump over Brexit negotiations.

Despite her resignation from the top Conservative post, May continued to serve as a backbench legislator while successive Conservative leaders navigated Brexit’s complexities. She occasionally criticized her successors, particularly Boris Johnson, who played a role in her resignation.

Rishi Sunak, current Chancellor of the Exchequer, praised May’s dedication, stating that she “defines what it means to be a public servant.”

Sunak, responsible for calling an election by year’s end, is likely to schedule it for the fall. Opinion polls indicate the Conservative Party, in power since 2010, trailing behind the main opposition Labour Party.

Nearly 100 lawmakers, including 64 Conservatives, have announced they will not contest election.

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