London —After 1,059 days in charge, Prime Minister Theresa May is stepping down as leader of the ruling Conservative Party.
She continues as prime minister until a replacement is found, search is well under way.
The resignation formally triggers the race for a successor who will try, where she failed, to. May will remain prime minister until a new leader is chosen, likely in late July, but will make no further moves on Britain’s departure from the European Union.
Brexit is still scheduled for October 31st, but while the contenders thrash it out over leadership of the Conservative Party, the project remains stalled, with the only divorce plan agreed with Brussels rejected by Britain’s parliament.
May took office after the shock 2016 referendum vote to leave the EU and has spent the past three years working on a departure plan, delaying Brexit twice to try to get the deal through.
She finally acknowledged defeat in apeech last month, the culmination of months of political turmoil that had slowly sapped her authority.
“She remains prime minister for a good few weeks yet,” May’s spokesman insisted, noting that any successor must meet Queen Elizabeth II and assure the head of state that they have the support of enough lawmakers to take over.
She will remain as acting leader of the Conservatives.