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April 22, 2024
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Former British PM Theresa May

Former British PM Theresa May to quit UK parliament

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Former British Prime Minsiter Theresa May has said she will not contest in the next general election, bringing a 27-year career in the UK parliament to an end.

May revealed her decision to stand down as MP for Maidenhead on Friday, saying she would focus on championing causes including the fight against modern slavery.

In a statement to her local newspaper, the Maidenhead Advertiser, she said: “Since stepping down as prime minister I have enjoyed being a backbencher again and having more time to work for my constituents and champion causes close to my heart including most recently launching a Global Commission on Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking.

“These causes have been taking an increasing amount of my 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.”

May, 67, has been a consistent campaigner on modern slavery and human trafficking, and launched her Global Commission in October, backed by the UK and Bahrain governments.

She was first elected as MP for Maidenhead in 1997 and served as home secretary under David Cameron between 2010 and 2016 before succeeding him as prime minister.

Her term in Downing Street lasted a turbulent three years and was dominated by wrangling over Brexit.

A snap election in 2017 saw her lose her majority, but she remained at Number 10 thanks to a deal with Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) in the resulting hung parliament.

Eventually, opposition to her proposed Brexit deal saw Conservative MPs hold a confidence vote in her leadership, and although she survived her authority was diminished, and she announced her resignation five months later.

In her statement, May said it had been “an honour and a privilege” to serve as Maidenhead’s MP and vowed to continue working for her constituents until the general election, which is expected in the second half of this year.

She added: “As I pass on the baton, I will be ready to work with my successor to secure a Conservative victory in Maidenhead.

“I remain committed to supporting (current Prime Minister) 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.”

Almost 100 MPs have announced they will not fight their seats at the next election, including 64 Conservatives and former Conservatives – the most Tories to retire from parliament since May entered the Commons in 1997.

Labour Party chairwoman Anneliese Dodds said the number of Tories standing down ed “no confidence” in Sunak and the Conservative Party’s prospects.

But Treasury minister Gareth Davies denied that was the case, telling Sky News he was “personally sad” to see May stand down.

He added that it is “completely reasonable” for people to decide to leave parliament before an election.

“Each one has made their own decision for personal reasons and I respect every single person’s decision to do so,” he said. (dpa/NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

Edited by Emmanuel Yashim

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