PRIME Minister Theresa May’s resignation last week under pressure from Conservative ministers and MPs was no surprise, although, under the rules, she could not be challenged again until December.
So serious has the Brexit situation become that Mrs May was left with no option but to relinquish the role she had held for a little a under three years after previous Prime Minister David Cameron walked away from the Brexit referendum result in |June 2016.
She gave her resignation speech outside 10 Downing Street on the day after the European election but before the result was known on Sunday night.
Several candidates have, so far, put themselves forward for election.
Boris Johnson, the former foreign secretary, is the bookmakers’ favourite.
Among those standing against him will be his old adversary Michael Gove, the environment secretary, and Dominic Raab, former Brexit secretary, who resigned over the withdrawal agreement.
Her supporters expressed their dismay at her going, while others have criticised her legacy of a bitter and divided UK.
David Mundell, MP for Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale and Scottish Secretary, said: “I am very sorry it has come to this.
“Nobody could have worked harder or shown a greater sense of public duty in delivering the result of the EU referendum than Theresa May.
“She has my utmost respect for those endeavours in the most challenging of circumstances as well as her unswerving commitment to the Union.
“As Mrs May herself acknowledges, she has, however unfairly, become an impediment to the resolution of Brexit and was no longer being given a hearing by parliament.
“Last Thursday’s election will surely show that delivering Brexit is now more urgent than ever and that will fall to a new Prime Minister. It’s time to get on with the process of appointing one.”
Colin Smyth, South Scotland Labour MSP, condemned the Prime Minster’s cuts to public spending and called for a general election.
He said: “Theresa May’s legacy will be to leave our country bitterly divided and in chaos.
“After promising to tackle the injustices, which exist in our society three years ago, she has failed to lift people of out of poverty in Dumfries and Galloway.
“Food bank use has increased and the most vulnerable have suffered as a result of Universal Credit. Her cuts to public spending are hitting our schools and hospitals.
“Those other cabinet ministers, who backed Mrs May and her failed Brexit deal every step of the way, should now consider their own positions and whoever takes over from her should call a general election and let the people decide our future.”
John Lamont, MP for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk, said: “The Prime Minister had an almost impossible task.
“She has done her upmost as leader of the UK at one of the most challenging times in our nation’s history.
Even her political opponents recognise her sincerity and acknowledge her overwhelming sense of public duty.
“She genuinely placed great importance on maintaining and strengthening our UK.
“On a personal level I owe much to the Prime Minister. Under her leadership I had the huge privilege to be elected MP for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk.”