May focused on job as Prime Minister as she prepares to quit as Tory leader

The Prime Minister will continue “trying to deliver for the people of this country”, Downing Street said on Theresa May’s last full day as Conservative Party leader.

Mrs May will continue as Prime Minister until a new Tory leader is elected, at which point she will tell the Queen she is stepping aside for a successor who can command the confidence of the House of Commons.

Conservative leaders since 1922 by length of time in role.
Conservative leaders since 1922 by length of time in role.

Under the timetable set out by the Tory Party, Mrs May will formally resign as leader on Friday, with her successor elected in the week beginning July 22.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said she was continuing to focus on her duties.

He said: “You have heard the Prime Minister talk passionately about some of the domestic policy issues which she cares about.

“She will continue to focus on trying to deliver for the people of this country.

Theresa May's approval rating
Theresa May's approval rating

“In relation to Brexit, the Prime Minister said it wouldn’t be for her to take this process forward, that will be for her successor.

“But this week, you have seen the Prime Minister take part in what was a successful state visit and then she has been commemorating those who took part in the D-Day landings.

“I think those ceremonies have been very moving and have been a fitting tribute to the heroism of all those who took part 75 years ago.”

At the D-Day commemoration event in Normandy, French President Emmanuel Macron offered his support to the outgoing Prime Minister.

“Leaders may come and go but their achievements remain,” he said.

D-Day 75th anniversary
D-Day 75th anniversary

“The force of our friendship will outlast current events.”

Mrs May’s last day as leader could be marked by a crushing defeat in the Peterborough by-election, with the Brexit Party and Labour expected to battle it out for a seat held by the Tories until 2017.

A Tory source said: “She would urge the voters of Peterborough to vote Conservative and we will see what the result is on Friday.”

The Prime Minister had “definitely done some phone banking” to help the campaign, Tory sources said.

Meanwhile, a Government source said the civil service will ensure “continuity arrangements” are in place to manage the transfer of power to Mrs May’s successor.