Here's what you missed in politics today


If you thought the days of shocking political news were behind us, think again.

It seems like the Tory party just has to be centre of attention. So after Andy Murray won Wimbledon and Portugal won the Euros, the Conservatives really pushed the boat out and decided Theresa May is going to be our prime minister.

Yes you heard it - May will be appointed as our new PM on Wednesday. Here's what happened today:

1. Theresa May gave a speech outlining her proposed policies.

Home Secretary Theresa May

Facing a leadership contest against Andrea Leadsom, the Home Secretary launched her campaign to become head of the Conservative Party. She reassured Leave campaigners that "Brexit means Brexit", ruling out a second referendum and saying there would be no attempts to remain in the EU.

She put forward new business and economic policies to control big businesses, and said she was standing as the candidate to unite party and country under "one nation conservatism".

2. Then Andrea Leadsom dropped out of the Conservative Party race.


Less than one hour later, May's launch speech looked redundant as Andrea Leadsom, her only rival on the ballot, dropped out, saying she did not have enough support from the parliamentary Conservative Party, and that she was now backing May.

Leadsom said: "She is ideally placed to implement Brexit on the best possible terms for the British people and she has promised that she will do so."

3. It was confirmed that May will be our next Prime Minister.

At first it was unclear whether nominations would reopen, or whether Michael Gove - who came in third place - would join May on the ballot.

But then at lightening speed Graham Brady, the chairman of the Tory backbench 1922 Committee, announced that May would be confirmed as the new party leader and therefore prime minister.

4. It all massively overshadowed Angela Eagle's leadership bid.

Angela Eagle announced her bid to take over leadership of the Labour Party. She said she wanted to bring the party back together after the majority of Labour MPs supported a vote of no confidence in Jeremy Corbyn, and most of his shadow cabinet stepped down.

She tried to shake off the labels that have threatened to split the Labour party so far, saying "I'm not a Blairite. I'm not a Brownite. I'm not a Corbynista. I am my own woman". No doubt she hoped it would be a riveting and headline-worthy speech, but it was all overshadowed by the Leadsom-May drama, with journalists literally running out of Eagle's bid.

5. Which led to an official Labour Party leadership election

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn awaits to give his speech at the Durham Miners' Gala on the old Racecourse, Durham.

With the support of at least 51 MPs, Angela Eagle's bid officially triggered a Labour leadership election, on the same day the Tories concluded theirs. The rules aren't clear as to whether Corbyn also needs the support of 51 MPs as the incumbent leader to be on the ballot.

6. May faced calls to hold a general election.

She isn't even the proper Prime Minister yet! But, to be fair to Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron, the whole EU referendum campaign was about getting rid of unelected Brussels bureaucrats, which is why the UK will apparently have an "unelected" prime minister later this week.

7. May made her eagerly-awaited statement outside the Commons.

Theresa May outside the Houses of Parliament (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Flanked by dozens of applauding MPs from all sides of the party, May said she was "honoured and humbled" to become new leader of the Conservatives. She used her statement to praise both Andrea Leadsom for her "dignity" and David Cameron for his stewardship of the party and country.

A Tory MP and close ally of May, Damian Green, insisted that the new prime minister did not need to call a general election.

When asked if May had a mandate, Green told BBC Radio Four: "I think she does because she was a very senior member of a Government that was elected just over a year ago. We don't elect presidents in this country. We elect a parliament, we elect MPs for individual seats.

"And the question the Queen asks formally, constitutionally, is 'can you command a majority in the House of Commons?' And Theresa can command a majority, so there is no need for an election."