From Maybot to tears: Theresa May’s emotional farewell to the job she loved

She was plagued by the nickname Maybot throughout her premiership, but Theresa May’s time as prime minister ended in tears.

Once described as a “dead-eyed automaton” by a sketch writer, even colleagues criticised her for failing to reveal what she really thought in private meetings.

But, despite displaying a sense of stoicism as she set out her timetable for leaving Number 10, her voice cracked as she delivered her final sentence.

“I will shortly leave the job that it has been the honour of my life to hold – 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,” she said, fighting back tears.

It was perhaps a fitting end to her time in office – revealing her emotions when it was already too late.

As Change UK leader Heidi Allen, who quit the Tories over Brexit earlier this year, speculated: “Why didn’t we see that emotion more? Things could have been so different…”

It was a stark contrast to her endlessly repeated “strong and stable” mantra, or insistence during the 2017 general election campaign that “nothing has changed”.

Theresa May leaves Downing Street with her husband Philip
Theresa May leaves Downing Street with her husband Philip (Aaron Chown/PA)

The Prime Minister’s husband, Philip, undoubtedly her rock in tricky moments, looked on from the street with her team as she delivered the statement on Friday morning.

He has often kept himself out of the spotlight, appearing alongside her in public at just a handful of key moments and public outings.

He was there to support her after her disastrous speech to the Tory party conference in 2017, and has been spotted in the side gallery to watch his wife during challenging Prime Minister’s Questions in recent times.

And as she left Downing Street to return to her constituency following the dramatic statement, Mr May was once again by her side.

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