Theresa May broke down in tears today as she read the last rites on her troubled premiership after bowing to a massive Tory mutiny over her Brexit plans. The Prime Minister announced her departure in an emotional statement on the steps of Downing Street after meeting Tory backbench chief Sir Graham Brady and giving the news to her staff behind closed doors.
Ive done my best, she said. I have done everything I can to convince MPs to back that deal ... sadly I have not been able to do so.
It is and will always remain a matter of deep regret to me that I have not been able to deliver Brexit.
Watched by husband Philip, Mrs May was almost unable to continue as she was overtaken by tears while voicing her pride at having served the country.
She declared she will resign as Conservative leader on June 7, triggering a contest that should be complete by the end of July - admitting it was time for someone else to try and deliver Brexit.
Mrs May said it had been the honour of my life to be PM, and she hoped she would not be the last woman to lead the country. And she urged warring MPs from all parties to remember that compromise is not a dirty word.
The dramatic move comes after Mrs Mays last-ditch effort to get her EU deal through the Commons backfired spectacularly. Tories were up in arms and the Cabinet mounted an open revolt after she offered MPs a vote on holding a second referendum and joining a temporary customs union with the EU.
The PM humiliatingly pulled her Withdrawal Agreement Bill - known as WAB - yesterday after seemingly accepting the inevitable.
Sir Graham had been charged by Tory backbenchers to enforce an exit date if she refused, with MPs threatening to change party rules to allow a no-confidence vote.
But despite the brutal assault on her position, there was an outpouring of sympathy today after she finally fell on her sword.
Andrea Leadsom, whose resignation as Commons Leader put the final nail in Mrs Mays political coffin, tweeted: A very dignified speech by @theresa_may. An illustration of her total commitment to country and duty. She did her utmost, and I wish her all the very best.
Prominent Tory Brexiteer Steve Baker, who strongly opposed the PMs Brexit deal, tweeted: Very dignified statement from Theresa May, beginning to set out the many things which she has achieved in office. This is a sad but necessary day.