Andrea Leadsom pulled out of the contest to become Conservative Party leader paving the way for Theresa May to become the Prime Minister of Britain as David Cameron declares he will hand over the keys to No 10 on Wednesday to her.
The timing of the handover of power from David Cameron looks set to be after PM'squestions on Wednesday.
A lot of people were caught unawares by the news.We had all been resigned to seeing David Cameron man the No 10 post for another 2 months at least.
Mrs May, 59, who backed staying in the EU, has been home secretary since 2010.
Andrea Leadsom quits.Mrs Leadsom, who campaigned to leave the EU, said the UK needed "strong and stable government" and that Mrs May was "ideally placed" to implement Brexit.
The 1922 committee of Tory MPs - which is overseeing the leadership contest - is holding talks with the Conservative Party board over formally declaring Mrs May the winner, after Mrs Leadsom dropped out.
A statement is expected from its chairman, Graham Brady, at about 17:00 BST.
Mrs May is also expected to make a public statement, at about 18:00 BST, according to BBC assistant political editor Norman Smith.
In a speech earlier on Monday setting out her leadership campaign platform, Mrs May - who rejected the argument that the next leader and prime minister had to have been someone on the winning side of the EU referendum - said: "Brexit means Brexit and we're going to make a success of it."
In her brief statement in Westminster, Mrs Leadsom - who was a leading light of the Brexit campaign - said a nine-week leadership campaign at such a "critical time" for the UK would be "highly undesirable".
A source close to the energy minister told BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg "the abuse has been too great" for Mrs Leadsom during the contest.
Mrs Leadsom had apologised to Mrs May on Monday after suggesting in a weekend newspaper interview that being a mother made her a better candidate for the job.
Mrs Leadsom, who was flanked by some of her supporters as she read the statement, said: "Strong leadership is needed urgently to begin the work of withdrawing from the European Union. A nine-week leadership campaign at such a critical moment is highly undesirable."
She said Mrs May, the home secretary, had the support of more than 60% of Conservative MPs and was "ideally placed to implement Brexit on the best possible terms for the British people and she has promised she will do so".
Mrs Leadsom said she was "incredibly grateful" to the 84 colleagues who supported her leadership bid.
But she added: "Nevertheless, this is less than 25% of the parliamentary party and after careful consideration I do no believe this is sufficient support to lead a strong and stable government should I win the leadership election."
She said: "There is no greater privilege than to lead the Conservative Party in government and I would have been deeply honoured to do it.
"I have however concluded that the interests of our country are best served by the immediate appointment of a strong and well-supported prime minister.
"I am therefore withdrawing from the leadership election, and I wish Mrs May the very greatest success."
Source of News BBC
Source of News BBC