Theresa May resigns as Prime Minister

Announcement made on steps of 10 Downing Street

One of the borough’s four MPs announced her resignation as Prime Minister, saying the role had been “the honour of my life”.

Theresa May, whose Maidenhead constituency includes parts of Twyford, Sonning, Ruscombe, Wargrave and Woodley, stood on the steps of 10 Downing Street to make the announcement.

She said that she would step down on June 7, the day after the D-Day commemorations, and would “do so with no ill-will, but with enormous and enduring gratitude to have had the opportunity to serve the country I love”.

The decision to resign was effectively forced upon her after Parliament rejected the Withdrawal Agreement to leave the European Union several times and it was clear that the revised package she had intended to bring to the House of Commons next month would also be rejected.

And the MP, who is known as a strong supporter of local events, used her speech to remind the world of the work of one of her Maidenhead constituents – Sir Nicholas Winton, who died in 2015. He saved nearly 700 children from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia during the Second World War

Mrs May said: “It is, and will always remain, a matter of deep regret to me that I have not been able to deliver Brexit. It will be for my successor to seek a way forward that honours the result of the referendum.

“To succeed, he or she will have to find consensus in Parliament where I have not.

“Such a consensus can only be reached if those on all sides of the debate are willing to compromise.

“For many years the great humanitarian Sir Nicholas Winton – who saved the lives of hundreds of children by arranging their evacuation from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia through the Kindertransport – was my constituent in Maidenhead.

“At another time of political controversy, a few years before his death, he took me to one side at a local event and gave me a piece of advice.

“He said, ‘Never forget that compromise is not a dirty word. Life depends on compromise.’ He was right.”

Elected after David Cameron resigned following the 2016 EU referendum, Mrs May also listed some of the achievements she had made during her short tenure as Prime Minister.

“My focus has been on ensuring that the good jobs of the future will be created in communities across the whole country, not just in London and the south east, through our modern industrial strategy.

“We have helped more people than ever enjoy the security of a job.

“We are building more homes and helping first-time buyers onto the housing ladder – so young people can enjoy the opportunities their parents did.

“And we are protecting the environment, eliminating plastic waste, tackling climate change and improving air quality.

“This is what a decent, moderate and patriotic Conservative government, on the common ground of British politics, can achieve – even as we tackle the biggest peacetime challenge any government has faced.”

And she concluded her speech by saying: “Our politics may be under strain, but there is so much that is good about this country. So much to be proud of. So much to be optimistic about.

“I will shortly leave the job that it has been the honour of my life to hold – the second female prime minister but certainly not the last.

“I do so with no ill-will, but with enormous and enduring gratitude to have had the opportunity to serve the country I love.”

Phil Creighton

Editor of The Wokingham Paper, and has worked in local journalism for more than 20 years including the Wokingham Times, Bracknell Standard and Reading Evening Post. He's also written for computer magazines, The Baptist Times and, to his delight and probably not yours, interviewed several Doctor Whos.

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