Theresa May sole contender to succeed Cameron as Andrea Leadsom quits race | News | DW | 11.07.2016
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Theresa May sole contender to succeed Cameron as Andrea Leadsom quits race

One of two Conservative Party figures tapped to succeed Prime Minister David Cameron has withdrawn from the race. This could clear the path for Theresa May to become prime minister much sooner than previously thought.

Leadson - one of the two candidates vying to lead the UK's ruling Conservative party - dropped from the race Monday, clearing the way for Britain's interior minister to become the country's leader this fall. She told reporters that she no longer felt she had enough party support.

"Business needs certainty," Leadsom, 53, said Monday. "We now need a new prime minister in place as soon as possible."

The Conservative Party has sought a new leader since David Cameron announced he would resign following the results of the UK's Brexit referendum.

Members of the Conservative Party were set to be asked to elect Cameron's successor - and the UK's next prime minister. With Leadsom, a junior minister with the energy portfolio, now out of they way, it clears the field for May - potentially removing the need for a party members' vote on the next prime minister.

As interior minister, May has made a name for herself with her emphasis on law-and-order policies and a strong post-EU Britain; she could be installed in a matter of days.

As soon as the UK invokes Article 50 of the EU's Lisbon Treaty, it will have two years to exit the EU. May, 54, has said she would be willing to make this step.

"Brexit means Brexit and we're going to make a success of it," May said in televised remarks as she launched her campaign in Birmingham. "There will be no attempts to remain inside the EU, there will be no attempts to rejoin it by the back door, no second referendum."

More than 1,000 lawyers sent a letter on Monday to Cameron saying they believed there should be legislation in parliament before Article 50 was triggered by the incoming leader.

May has also courted controversy after saying in April that Britain should withdraw from the European Conventionon Human Rights. May had complained that international norms inhibit the UK from prosecuting terror cases.

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jar/rc (AFP, Reuters)