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Andrea Leadsom just dropped out of the race to be the next Tory leader and British prime minister. This means Theresa May is apt to be the prime minister by the end of the day.
The dramatic development came in a statement issued by Leadsom, the energy minister, shortly after midday. She admitted that she has been left “shattered” by the contest in which she has faced an outpouring of anger following her comments about motherhood.
In a statement read out in London, Leadsom said she did not believe she had sufficient support to form a strong and stable government after coming in second place behind the home secretary in the ballot of Conservative MPs.
She added “I wish Theresa May the greatest success”, and promised the only remaining candidate her full support.
Leadsom’s campaign hit the rocks over the weekend when The Times of London published an interview with her in which she said that while she didn’t want to be horrible about it — because she was sure Theresa May must be sad not to have had children — she thought she’d be a better prime minister because having children meant she had “a very real stake” in Britain’s future. Then she indignantly denied having said it. The Times of course published the transcript and audio. It was obvious (to me, anyway) that she’d said it off the record, and genuinely didn’t want it published for fear of hurting May’s feelings. But it was just as obvious that she wasn’t experienced enough and unready for prime time.
Meet Ms. May:
Here she is addressing the Conservative Party conference last year:
I think she’ll be fine for the job. She’s unflashy, competent, and calm, which is what Britain needs right now. Your thoughts?