THERESA May is to stand down as Conservative leader on June 7 after months of turmoil over her Brexit strategy.

After 49 resignations from her government and a botched coup by hardline Eurosceptics in December, the Prime Minister finally gave the date for her departure.

Her decision followed a meeting with Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the powerful 1922 Committee of Tory MPs, yesterday morning when she faced an ultimatum of going on her terms or on a second confidence vote.

In an emotional statement in Downing Street, with husband Philip and her closest aides watching on, she ended her speech in tears after declaring it was in the “best interests of the country” for a new prime minister to lead efforts to deliver Brexit.

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Her voice cracked as she said: “I will shortly leave the job that it has been the honour of my life to hold – the second female prime minister but certainly not the last. I do so with no ill will, but with enormous and enduring gratitude to have had the opportunity to serve the country I love.”

She insisted she had her best to deliver Brexit and take the UK out of the European Union.

But almost three years after the UK voted to break away from Brussels, she added: “It is, and will always remain, a matter of deep regret to me that “I have not been able to deliver Brexit. It will be for my successor to seek a way forward that honours the result of the referendum.”

Her departure will trigger a six-week Tory leadership election, formally beginning on Monday, June 10 with the new leader – and prime minister – announced at the end of July.

With Brexiteer Boris Johnson the current favourite to replace her, and former Brexit secretary Dominic Raab his nearest contender, May warned against a hardline approach, saying a consensus was necessary.

“Such a consensus can only be reached if those on all sides of the debate are willing to compromise,” she said.

Sympathy for her was limited among SNP politicians at Westminster.

Joanna Cherry (pictured below), the SNP’s justice and home affairs spokeswoman, tweeted: “I won’t shed a tear for @theresa_may. She’s treated voters in #Scotland with contempt. I’ve suggested that her successor ought to take a more intelligent approach to Scotland but that seems unlikely hence the need for #indyref2 #BrexitShambles.”

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Alison Thewliss, the SNP’s housing and communities spokeswoman at Westminster, took a similar view, tweeting: “I had a young man break down in tears at surgery today due to the deliberately cruel way Theresa May’s government has treated him. Another constituent was crying in the office cos she’ll get no UC for five weeks. I have absolutely no sympathy for the PM. #HostileEnvironment.”

But some of the politicians who contributed to her downfall paid tribute to her.

Johnson tweeted: “A very dignified statement from @theresa_may. Thank you for your stoical service to our country and the Conservative Party. It is now time to follow her urgings: to come together and deliver Brexit.”

Highlighting the remark, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted simply: “What a hypocrite.”

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, who met May on Thursday to deliver his assessment that her Brexit deal would never pass, said the Prime Minister was a “true public servant”.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid, who had a “frank” discussion with May about her deal on Thursday, said “nobody could have worked harder or had a greater sense of public duty”.

Scottish Secretary David Mundell, who had raised concerns about May’s Withdrawal Agreement Bill opening the door to a second EU referendum – a move which he said could have been “exploited” by the SNP to call for another independence vote – said “nobody could have worked harder or shown a greater sense of public duty”.

The National:

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said May’s replacement should call an immediate General Election.

He said May had finally accepted “she cannot govern and nor can her divided and disintegrating party”.

He added that “the last thing the country needs is weeks of more Conservative infighting followed by yet another unelected Prime Minister”.

“Whoever becomes the new Conservative leader must let the people decide our country’s future, through an immediate General Election,” he said.

In her statement May – who had an audience with the Queen on Wednesday – said she had kept the monarch informed of her plans and will remain in office until the leadership process is concluded.

Conservative Party chairman Brandon Lewis said he expected a new leader would be announced in late July, before Parliament rises for the summer recess.