Theresa May to stand down as MP at general election

Former prime minister Theresa May has announced that she will step down as an MP in the next general election, ending her 27-year stint in parliament.

In a statement to a local newspaper in her Maidenhead constituency, Ms May admitted it was a “challenging decision” to step away from politics.

She told the Maidenhead Advertiser she had taken the decision to “focus on causes close to her heart including her work on the Global Commission on Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking”.

“It has been an honour and a privilege to serve everyone in the Maidenhead constituency as the Member of Parliament for the last 27 years,” she said.

“Being an MP is about service to one’s constituents and I have always done my best to ensure that I respond to the needs of local people and the local area.”

Ms May was first elected as the MP for Maidenhead in 1997, eventually going on to serve as the second ever female prime minister from July 2016 to July 2019.

She earned a reputation for her tough stance on immigration and law and order issues during her time as home secretary under then-prime minister David Cameron between 2010 and 2016 before succeeding him in the top role.

But her term in Downing Street was cut short after a turbulent three years where she was dubbed the ‘Maybot’ for her robotic interview style, and her tenure was dominated by wrangling over Brexit negotiations.

In the snap election of 2017 she lost her parliamentary majority, yet she clung on at No 10 courtesy of a pact with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).

Ms May formally stepped down as prime minister on 24 July 2019 after Boris Johnson won the Conservative Party leadership contest and succeeded her as the country’s prime minister.

In her statement on Friday, she said: “As I pass the baton on I will be working with my successor to secure a Conservative victory in Maidenhead.

“I remain committed to supporting Rishi Sunak and the government and believe that the Conservatives can win the election.

“I would like to thank all those who chose me to represent them as their Member of Parliament.”

Labour MP Jess Phillips said that there was “something very classy” about the former prime minister announcing her resignation “in the Maidenhead advertiser first”.

Posting on social media site, X, the Labour MP said:

“Love her or loathe Theresa May politics, she was famed for being a responsive and involved local MP.”

Ms May has long campaigned on modern slavery and human trafficking, and launched her Global Commission on the issues in October, backed by the UK and Bahrain governments.

In her statement, she said she the causes close to her heart were taking an “increasing amount of her time”.

“Because of this, after much careful thought and consideration, I have realised that, looking ahead, I would no longer be able to do my job as an MP in the way I believe is right and my constituents deserve,” she said.

Theresa May and her soon-to-be successor Boris Johnson pictured in 2017

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