Theresa May bids farewell to Number 10 ahead of Boris Johnson becoming new PM
Theresa May has left Downing Street for the final time as Prime Minister with a message to successor Boris Johnson to seek a Brexit deal.
The new Tory leader has made clear he will leave the European Union on October 31 – with or without a deal – but Mrs May said his priority must be a Brexit “that works for the whole United Kingdom”.
Mrs May was offering her resignation to the Queen, with Mr Johnson expected to have his own audience with the monarch later on Wednesday to be appointed as the new prime minister.
One of Mrs May’s final acts as Prime Minister was to receive the resignations of Philip Hammond, David Gauke and Rory Stewart from their Cabinet roles.
Her effective deputy prime minister David Lidington also announced he was standing down from the Government.
Mrs May’s farewell speech in Downing Street was interrupted by a cry of “stop Brexit” from a protester outside – in reply she joked “I think not”.
But she made clear her desire for Mr Johnson to seek a deal with Brexit, having previously warned about the risks of a no-deal departure.
Flanked by husband Philip, she said: “I repeat my warm congratulations to Boris on winning the Conservative leadership election.
“I wish him and the Government he will lead every good fortune in the months and years ahead.
“Their successes will be our country’s successes, and I hope that they will be many.
“Their achievements will build on the work of nearly a decade of Conservative or Conservative-led government.
“During that time our economy has been restored, our public services reformed, and our values defended on the world stage.
“Of course, much remains to be done – the immediate priority being to complete our exit from the European Union in a way that works for the whole United Kingdom.
“With success in that task can come a new beginning for our country – a national renewal that can move us beyond the current impasse into the bright future the British people deserve.”