What do you want from new Prime Minister Theresa May?

Britain'’s next prime minister will be Theresa May (left) after her Conservative leadership rival An

Britain'’s next prime minister will be Theresa May (left) after her Conservative leadership rival Andrea Leadsom (right) quit. - Credit: Archant

Theresa May will take over from David Cameron as prime minister on Wednesday after Conservative leadership contender Andrea Leadsom dropped out of the race on Monday.

Mrs Leadsom - who had admitted she was 'shattered' by the experience of intense media scrutiny since securing the second place on the ballot paper in the leadership contest - said she had decided she did not have sufficient support among MPs 'to lead a strong and stable government'.

Speaking on the steps of her campaign HQ in Westminster, the Energy Minister wished Mrs May 'the very greatest success' and promised her 'my full support'.

She said the country needed a new PM as soon as possible and Mrs May was ideally placed to deliver Britain's withdrawal from the EU following last month's referendum.

Mrs Leadsom has faced pressure in recent days over comments about Mrs May not having children, her tax returns, and her CV.

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Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 committee which runs the leadership contest, confirmed that there will not be a re-election. They now need to formally confirm that Theresa May has been elected leader of the Conservative Party. It means Mrs May will become leader without facing a vote of the party's 150,000 members.

Prime Minister David Cameron said later on Monday that Mrs May would take over from him on Wednesday after he has taken his last Prime Minister's Questions and offered his resignation to the Queen.

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In a statement accepting that Mrs May has effectively been chosen as Tory leader, the Home Secretary's campaign manager, Chris Grayling, said she was 'enormously honoured to have been entrusted with this task'.

Mrs May, who launched her national campaign with a speech in Birmingham just moments before Mrs Leadsom's withdrawal, was travelling back to London to make a statement.

'Theresa will do everything she can to equip our country for the challenges that lie ahead,' said Mr Grayling.

Mr Gove, who came third in the leadership ballot among Tory MPs, pledged his backing to Mrs May, saying: 'Andrea Leadsom spoke with great dignity and courage today. I wish her every success in the future.

'We should now move as quickly as possible to ensure Theresa May can take over as leader. She has my full support as our next Prime Minister.'

And Mr Johnson - who abandoned an expected tilt for the leader's job after realising he faced competition from both Mrs Leadsom and Mr Gove - said he had 'no doubt' that Mrs May would make an excellent party leader and PM.

Mr Johnson said: 'Theresa May will provide the authority and the leadership necessary to unite the Conservative Party and take the country forward in the coming weeks and months.

'Andrea's decision, which is both brave and principled, allows that process to begin immediately.

'I have no doubt Theresa will make an excellent party leader and Prime Minister and I'm encouraged that she's made it clear that Brexit means Brexit - that we will leave the EU.

'It is vital that we respect the will of the people and get on with exploiting new opportunities for this country.'

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