Update, 11:35 a.m.: Theresa May will become the U.K.’s prime minister on Wednesday, David Cameron has announced. Cameron says he will take Prime Minister’s Questions for a final time before resigning.
The current PM had initially been expected to serve through September, but his departure was hastened when May’s last remaining competitor for Conservative Party leadership dropped out of the race earlier Monday.
Cameron will formally resign his office by communicating his intentions to the U.K.’s “queen,” a sort of magical elderly figurehead character who is, remarkably, technically in charge of the entire country.
Original post, 9:23 a.m.: Conservative MP and current Home Secretary Theresa May is in line to become the U.K.’s next prime minister after her last remaining opponent, Andrea Leadsom, announced Monday that she is dropping out of the race.
Leadsom had been widely criticized over an interview with the Times of London published on Saturday in which she suggested that being a mother gave her a uniquely valuable perspective on the country’s future. (May and her husband do not have children, and she has alluded recently to having been unable to do so.) “The newspaper reported Ms. Leadsom as saying that, while Ms. May ‘possibly has nieces, nephews,’ she herself had ‘children who are going to have children’ who would be directly affected by what happened after Britain’s exit from the European Union,” the New York Times writes. (The full Times of London piece is behind a paywall.)
Current Prime Minister David Cameron announced in the wake of the country’s vote to leave the European Union that he will step down from leadership of his party sometime this fall. (Cameron was a “Remain” supporter.) With the next British general election not scheduled until 2020, the next Conservative leader will therefore succeed Cameron as prime minister.