Sturgeon raises concerns of ‘hardline Brexiteer’ in No 10 after May quits

It is "deeply concerning" a "hardline Brexiteer" could become the next Prime Minister and threaten a no-deal exit from the EU, Nicola Sturgeon has said.

Following Theresa May's announcement on Friday that she would be stepping down on June 7, Scotland's First Minister warned her departure would "not solve the Brexit mess".

She said it would be wrong for Mrs May's successor to take office without calling a General Election.

Ms Sturgeon added Mrs May's resignation also outlines the importance of Scotland being given the chance to vote again on the question of independence.

The First Minister said: "I wish Theresa May well. She and I had profound disagreements – not least on her handling of Brexit and her disregard for Scotland's interests.

"However, leadership is tough – especially in these times – and she deserves thanks for her service.

"Her departure will not solve the Brexit mess that the Tories have created. Only putting the matter back to the people can do that."

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Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May announces her resignation outside 10 Downing street in central London on May 24, 2019. - Beleaguered British Prime Minister Theresa May announced on Friday that she will resign on June 7, 2019 following a Conservative Party mutiny over her remaining in power. (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / AFP) (Photo credit should read TOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty Images)
The Prime Minister had faced calls to resign after a backlash against her new Brexit deal.
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May reacts as she announces her resignation outside 10 Downing street in central London on May 24, 2019. - Beleaguered British Prime Minister Theresa May announced on Friday that she will resign on June 7, 2019 following a Conservative Party mutiny over her remaining in power. (Photo by Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP) (Photo credit should read DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)
British Prime Minister Theresa May leaves the back of Downing Street, in London, Britain, May 24, 2019. REUTERS/Toby Melville
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 24: Prime Minister, Theresa May makes a statement outside 10 Downing Street on May 24, 2019 in London, England. The prime minister has announced that she will resign on Friday, June 7, 2019 (Photo by Peter Summers/Getty Images)
File photo dated 30/09/2007 of the then Shadow Leader of House of Commons Theresa May addressing the Conservative Party conference in Blackpool wearing wellington boots. The Prime Minister is expected to announce details later today of her timetable for leaving Downing Street.
File photo dated 07/10/2009 of the then Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and Shadow Minister for Women Theresa May addresses delegates at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester. The Prime Minister is expected to announce details later today of her timetable for leaving Downing Street.
File photo dated 19/05/2011 of the then Home Secretary Theresa May arriving at the Asian Women of Achievement Awards in Central London. The Prime Minister is expected to announce details later today of her timetable for leaving Downing Street.
File photo dated 22/11/2011 of the then Home Secretary Theresa May walking towards Downing Street after a Ceremonial Welcome for Turkey's President Abdullah Gul on Horse Guards Parade, in central London. The Prime Minister is expected to announce details later today of her timetable for leaving Downing Street.
File photo dated 02/05/17 of Prime Minister Theresa May having some chips while on a walkabout during a election campaign stop in Mevagissey, Cornwall. The Prime Minister is expected to announce details later today of her timetable for leaving Downing Street.
File photo dated 13/07/16 of Prime Minister Theresa May and her husband Philip John outside 10 Downing Street, London, after meeting Queen Elizabeth II and accepting her invitation to become Prime Minister and form a new government. The Prime Minister is expected to announce details later today of her timetable for leaving Downing Street.
File photo dated 07/07/17 of Prime Minister Theresa May and German Chancellor Angela Merkel attending the G20 summit in Hamburg. The Prime Minister is expected to announce details later today of her timetable for leaving Downing Street.
La Première ministre britannique Theresa May, le 21 mai 2019 à Londres
File photo dated 03/10/18 of Prime Minister Theresa May dancing as she arrives on stage to make her keynote speech at the Conservative Party annual conference. The Prime Minister is expected to announce details later today of her timetable for leaving Downing Street.
File photo dated 15/06/1999 of Conservative MP Theresa May leaving Conservative Central Office in London, after being appointed shadow Education and Employment secretary in a Shadow Cabinet reshuffle announced by Tory leader William Hague. The Prime Minister is expected to announce details later today of her timetable for leaving Downing Street. (PA)
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May is seen outside Downing Street, as uncertainty over Brexit continues, in London, Britain May 22, 2019. REUTERS/Toby Melville
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May leaves after giving a speech on Brexit in Westminster in London, Britain, May 21, 2019. REUTERS/Hannah Mckay
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May delivers a speech on Brexit in London, Britain May 21, 2019. Kirsty Wigglesworth/Pool via REUTERS
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May arrives to give a speech on Brexit in Westminster in London, Britain, May 21, 2019. REUTERS/Hannah Mckay
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May and her husband Philip May leave church near High Wycombe, Britain May 19, 2019. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May arrives to give a speech on Brexit in Westminster in London, Britain, May 21, 2019. REUTERS/Hannah Mckay
Britain's Prime Minster Theresa May looks on during a EU election campaign event in Bristol, Britain May 17, 2019. REUTERS/Toby Melville/Pool
Prime Minister Theresa May dancing with students and staff at I.D. Mkize Secondary School in Cape Town, which is twinned with Whitby High School in Yorkshire. The two schools are part of a British Council funded teacher exchange scheme called 'Connected Classrooms'. The prime minister is on day one of her trip to South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya on a trade mission designed to bolster the UK's post-Brexit fortunes.
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She added: "Given current circumstances, it also feels deeply wrong for another Tory to be installed in Number 10 without a General Election.

"The prospect of an even more hardline Brexiteer now becoming PM and threatening a no-deal exit is deeply concerning.

"Added to the experience of the past three years, this makes it all the more important that Scotland is given the choice of becoming an independent country."

Scottish Secretary David Mundell said Mrs May had his "utmost respect".

Mr Mundell said: "I am very sorry it has come to this. Nobody could have worked harder, or shown a greater sense of public duty, in delivering the result of the EU referendum than Theresa May.

"She has my utmost respect for those endeavours, in the most challenging of circumstances, as well as her unswerving commitment to the union.

"As Mrs May herself acknowledges, she has, however unfairly, become an impediment to the resolution of Brexit and was no longer being given a hearing by Parliament.

"Yesterday's elections will surely show that delivering Brexit is now more urgent than ever, and that will fall to a new Prime Minister.

"It's time to get on with the process of appointing one."

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said the Prime Minister's time in office had been characterised by "hard work, resilience" and "quiet dignity".

Ms Davidson said: "The Prime Minister has always put country before party and, by announcing her resignation and setting out a plan for an orderly departure, she has shown that commitment again today.

"Theresa May knew when she took on the job of Prime Minister that the challenges facing our country were unprecedented.

"Her time in office has been characterised by the hard work, resilience, quiet dignity and attention to detail for which she is known."

She added: "Above all, by opposing the SNP's call for an immediate second independence referendum in 2017, the Prime Minister demonstrated her resolute commitment to the union and to Scotland's place in it.

"As Britain's second female Prime Minister, she has been a role model for girls and women across the United Kingdom, showing that there is no glass ceiling to their ambitions."

Ms Davidson added Mrs May's successor must demonstrate a level of commitment to Scotland's place as part of the UK.

"On behalf of everyone in the Scottish Conservative and Unionist party I would like to thank her for her years of service as an MP, party chairman, Secretary of State and Prime Minister," she said.

"As leader of the Scottish Conservatives, I want to see candidates show that same level of commitment to Scotland's place in the union, an ability to advance our interests at home and abroad and, crucially, demonstrate how they intend to bring our country back together after the divisions sown by two constitutional referenda."

Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard said: "We don't just need Theresa May out, we need the Tory government evicted from Downing Street.

"Labour is ready to govern and we will transform our country so it works for the many, not the few."

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