Sussex reacts as Theresa May resigns

Prime Minister Theresa May has announced her resignation this morning.

The embattled leader said she would step down on Friday June 7.

Theresa May is resigning after nearly three years as Prime Minister (VICTORIA JONES/AFP/Getty Images)

Theresa May is resigning after nearly three years as Prime Minister (VICTORIA JONES/AFP/Getty Images)

A Conservative Party leadership contest will begin to select her successor.

Read more: Theresa May resigns: Have your say on who you believe should be the next Prime Minister

Outside Number 10 Downing Street, Mrs May said: “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.”

Her announcement comes a day after polling day for the European elections where the Conservatives are expected to lose a significant number of MEPs.

Meanwhile she was forced to shelve her latest draft withdrawal agreement after uproar from within her own party earlier this week.

Hastings and Rye MP Amber Rudd, the work and pensions secretary, said: “The Prime Minister has shown great courage.

“She is a public servant who did all she could to bring Brexit to a resolution.

“Her sense of duty is something everyone should admire and aspire to.

“As a Party we must come together to make a success of the next phase of our party’s great story.

“Brexit is a process and compromise is needed to pass a deal that works for everyone.

“We must show we can lead this great country to the strong future that I know we can deliver.”

Schools minister Nick Gibb, MP for Bognor Regis and Littlehampton, added: “As Prime Minister, Theresa May never, not once, put her own interests before those of the country. Her steadfast sense of duty drove her decision making. Responsibility for failing to deliver Brexit lies with others, not with her.”

Wealden MP Nus Ghani, transport minister, added: “An emotional and dignified speech from Theresa May who deserves our thanks and gratitude. A dedicated public servant and patriot.”

Sir Nicholas Soames, Mid Sussex MP, added: “A moving and dignified statement at a solemn moment by a brave Prime Minister at the end of an impossibly difficult time.”

Chichester MP Gillian Keegan wrote: “Thank you Theresa May for your public service and sense of duty to try and guide our country through a difficult political challenge in a hung Parliament.

“You led an economic recovery which has enabled us to ensure record funding and a long term plan for the NHS.”

Meanwhile Green MP for Brighton Pavilion Caroline Lucas said: “While May was almost uniquely ill-equipped to be negotiator we needed, truth is she was given impossible job

“You can’t achieve a hard Brexit & avoid hard border in Northern Ireland, & no new PM can achieve it either.”