Brexit brings down May, Boris Johnson vying for premiership – all at the end of May

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Stop Boris Johnson campaign launched by Tory moderates opposed to no-deal Brexit

LONDON (Reuters) – Fighting back tears, Theresa May said on Friday she would quit after failing to deliver Brexit, setting up a contest that will install a new British prime minister who could pursue a cleaner break with the European Union.

May’s departure deepens the Brexit crisis as a new leader, who should be in place by the end of July, is likely to want a more decisive split, raising the chances of a confrontation with the EU and potentially a snap parliamentary election.

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Former foreign minister Boris Johnson, the favourite to replace May, was first out of the blocks, saying Britain should be prepared to leave the EU without a deal to force the bloc to offer a “good deal”.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday he felt bad for British Prime Minister Theresa May, who said on Friday she would quit after failing to deliver Brexit.

Current foreign minister Jeremy Hunt also confirmed he would run for the leadership just hours after May, her voice cracking with emotion, said she would resign as Conservative Party leader on Friday, June 7, setting up a contest to succeed her.

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“I will shortly leave the job that has been the honour of my life to hold,” May said outside her Downing Street official residence with her husband, Philip, looking on. “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,” said the usually reserved May.

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