Theresa May to resign as UK Prime Minister

6:58 a.m. ET, May 24, 2019

May will still be PM to welcome Donald Trump

Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

US President Donald Trump has picked an awkward time to make his first state visit to the UK.

He's set to arrive on June 3, finally taking up May on the offer she made when she visited him in Washington days after his inauguration. He also came to the UK last year, but that was not a full state visit.

But May will officially step down as her party's leader at the end of that week -- and whether Trump will want to go ahead with meeting a lame duck leader remains to be confirmed.

7:00 a.m. ET, May 24, 2019

Farage to Tories: Elect a Brexiteer or die

Nigel Farage, leader of the Brexit Party and politician who has done more than most to push Britain toward leaving the European Union, said the Conservatives must elect an anti-EU leader.

6:48 a.m. ET, May 24, 2019

Juncker watched May quit "without personal joy"


Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of the European Commission, followed Theresa May's resignation announcement "without personal joy," his spokeswoman said.

"The president very much liked and appreciated working with Prime Minister May, and has said before Theresa May is a woman of courage for whom he has great respect," the spokeswoman added.

"He will equally respect and establish working relations with any new prime minister, whomever they may be, without stopping his conversations with Prime Minister May."

But he reiterated that the next leader will not be able to reopen May's Withdrawal Agreement with the EU. "Our position on the Withdrawal Agreement has been set out by my colleague yesterday. There is no change to that.

"We have set out our position on the Withdrawal Agreement and on the Political Declaration. The European Commission and the Article 50 format has set out its position and we remain available for anyone who will be the new prime minister."

Juncker told CNN earlier this week that the Brexit uncertainty is harming not only the EU, but also the UK itself. "I hope they will agree among themselves, and they will leave (the EU) by the end of October ... I think it's their patriotic duty to get an agreement," he said.

6:40 a.m. ET, May 24, 2019

An excuse to ignore Brexit a little longer

Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the opposition Labour Party, has already called for a general election. "Whoever becomes the new Tory leader must let the people decide our country’s future, through an immediate General Election," he said.

While calling for an election in the immediate aftermath of a prime minister's resignation is hardly radical, the fact that Labour believes the best way to decide the country's future is through a general election and not a second referendum is worth noting.

Corbyn has for months been under pressure from his party to clarify if he would formally back a second vote – in which Remain would be an option for voters.

Labour has been on election footing for some time and advisors have been privately saying that pushing the government to an election is their priority.

But while Labour is clearly confident that while the Conservative chaos is a huge opportunity, it's far from clear that an election now wouldn't return another hung parliament – in which no party has a majority.

Labour's plan to bounce the country into an election might be a clever plot to make short-term immediate gains. But the consequences of a lengthy election campaign have an all-too-familiar whiff. Getting into the weeds of a national campaign will allow both parties to pretend Brexit isn't happening, which is sort of how we ended up in this mess in the first place.

6:28 a.m. ET, May 24, 2019

Boris Johnson is clear favorite among contenders to be next PM

Getty Images
Getty Images

Bookmakers have seen a flurry of betting on the UK's next prime minister, in the minutes since Theresa May confirmed her resignation.

Boris Johnson leads the contest -- he's close to evens in the race, according to British betting website Oddschecker. In relative terms, the experts believe that Johnson's chances of usurping his colleagues are as high as 47%, the company says.

And punters seem to be in agreement with the bookmakers -- 41% of the bets made after May's speech went on the former Foreign Secretary.

He's followed by fellow hardline Brexiteer Dominic Raab, who quit as Brexit Secretary in protest over the deal May and the EU reached.

Michael Gove, Jeremy Hunt and Andrea Leadsom are next in the pecking order. Penny Mordaunt, Sajid Javid and Rory Stewart are similarly priced longshots.

6:02 a.m. ET, May 24, 2019

Jeremy Corbyn: May is right to resign

Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the opposition Labour Party, said May was right to call it a day.

"She's now accepted what the country's known for months: she can't govern, and nor can her divided and disintegrating party," he adds, calling for her replacement to order a snap election.

In a longer post on Facebook, he added:

"The burning injustices she promised to tackle three years ago are even starker today.
The Conservative Party has utterly failed the country over Brexit and is unable to improve the lives of people in our country or deal with their most pressing needs.
Parliament is deadlocked and the Conservatives offer no solutions to the other major challenges facing our country.
The last thing the country needs is weeks of more Conservative infighting followed by yet another unelected Prime Minister."

6:00 a.m. ET, May 24, 2019

Boris Johnson: Time to deliver Brexit

Luke Dray/Getty Images
Luke Dray/Getty Images

Boris Johnson, the frontrunner to replace May as prime minister, says it's time to follow May's "urgings," and come together to deliver Brexit.

Johnson has long held leadership ambitions but dramatically pulled out of the last leadership election, which May won.

Now could be the moment that the controversial former Foreign Secretary wins the big prize.