LONDON: Britain is poised to get its first woman Prime Minister in more than a quarter of a century since Margaret Thatcher as the race to succeed David Cameron after the Brexit vote on Friday narrowed down to home secretary Theresa May and energy minister Andrea Leadsom.
May will now go head to head with Leadsom in an all-woman contest after justice secretary Michael Gove was eliminated from the Conservative party leadership race with the least votes in the second round of voting on Fridday.
“This vote proves the Conservative party can come together,” May said after she received the backing of 199 Tory MPs compared to Leadsom’s 84 and Gove’s 46.
May and Leadsom will now begin their campaigns to convince the wider Conservative party membership around the country for a final round of voting with the winner set to be declared on September 9.
It is now certain that the winner will go on to become Britain’s second female Prime Minister after Margaret Thatcher. Friday’s results were announced at Westminster by Conservative MP Graham Brady, the chairman of the backbench 1922 Committee.
There had originally been five contenders to succeed Cameron, who had announced his resignation after Britain voted to leave the European Union (EU) in June 23 referendum. The contest now moves to its final stage with the Conservative Party’s 150,000-strong membership deciding between May, a Remain campaigner with a long track record in government, and Leadsom, a strong Brexit campaigner with a background in business by postal ballot.