Theresa May has today visited Buckingham Palace to have an audience with Queen Elizabeth II and officially hand in her resignation as prime minister. Now Boris Johnson will visit the Queen to ask her permission to begin a new government. What has Theresa May said, and how did the Queen respond?
Theresa May’s full statement outside Downing Street before meeting the Queen was:
“I am about to go to Buckingham Palace to tender my resignation to Her Majesty the Queen and to advise her to ask Boris Johnson to form a new administration.
“I repeat my warm congratulations to Boris on winning the Conservative leadership election. I wish him and the Government he will lead every good fortune in the months and years ahead.
“Their successes will be our country’s successes, and I hope that they will be many. Their achievements will build on the work of nearly a decade of Conservative or Conservative-led government. During that time our economy has been restored, our public services reformed, and our values defended on the world stage.
“Of course, much remains to be done – the immediate priority being to complete our exit from the European Union in a way that works for the whole United Kingdom. With success in that task can come a new beginning for our country – a national renewal that can move us beyond the current impasse into the bright future the British people deserve.
“To serve as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom is the greatest honour. The heavy responsibilities are outweighed by the huge potential to serve your country. But you achieve nothing alone. And as I leave Downing Street, my final words are of sincere thanks.
“To my colleagues in Government and Parliament. To everyone in the building behind me and across the Civil Service.
“To the men and women of our armed forces and security services. And to the public servants in our schools, our NHS, our police and the other emergency services. All are inspired by the noble wish to serve their country in the national interest.
“I also want to thank the British people. Everyone who loves our great country, who works hard for their family and wants their children and grand-children to enjoy greater opportunity than they did. Thank you for putting your faith in me and giving me the chance to serve.
“This is a country of aspiration and opportunity and I hope that every young girl who has seen a woman Prime Minister now knows for sure that there are no limits to what they can achieve.
“Finally and most of all, I want to thank my husband Philip – who has been my greatest supporter and my closest companion.
“I am about to leave Downing Street but I am proud to continue as the Member of Parliament for Maidenhead.
“I will continue to do all I can to serve the national interest. And play my part in making our United Kingdom – a great country with a great future – a country that truly works for everyone.”
An official statement from the Queen after meeting Mrs May read: “The Right Honourable Theresa May MP had an Audience of The Queen this afternoon and tendered her resignation as Prime Minister and First Lord of the Treasury, which Her Majesty was graciously pleased to accept.”
Boris Johnson is now meeting with the Queen to ask her permission to form a new government.
He arrived at Buckingham Palace this afternoon and was welcomed by the Queen’s private secretary and her equerry.