‘I AM today announcing that I will resign as leader of the Conservative and Unionist party on June 7.”

And with that, she was gone.

It was a creeping, staggered departure, entirely in keeping with Theresa May’s modus operandi as Prime Minister. In the end, there was no bloody showdown with her Cabinet. She went not on her own terms, but with a degree of control over her downfall.

The writing was on the wall for Theresa May at the beginning of the week, when she burned through the last of the support and goodwill within her own party. Sir Graham Brady met with her and urged her to go, and the 1922 Committee of which he is chairman held a secret ballot on changing the party rules to force her out.

With the looming humiliation of the EU elections, patience had finally run out and May was urged to step down. Leader of the House Andrea Leadsom resigned and the deal that May had planned to bring back for a fourth time was dead in the water.

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As she stood outside Downing Street, she was not announcing her departure under the circumstances she would have liked.

Much of May’s stubbornness and apparent detachment from reality has been borne out of a desire to achieve something, anything, in her short tenure as Prime Minister.

Her coronation back in 2016 cemented her legacy as the Brexit Prime Minister, but in the end, she couldn’t even deliver that.

Instead, her real legacy will be one of electoral failure and isolation. After becoming tangled in the red lines she prematurely cemented into her Brexit vision, she proved herself a Prime Minister unwilling to compromise – even when it would have helped her cause.

It is ironic, therefore, that it was one small movement in her position – as the Brexit clock was nearing midnight – that finally sealed her fate. Her promise to hold a second referendum if MPs voted for it angered her Cabinet and, crucially, failed to convince pro-Remain MPs for whom the last-minute commitment was too little, too late.

And so, the legacy that she has been forever running after, in the manner of a child in a house of mirrors, remained out of reach. In truth, it always was beyond her grasp, it has just taken Theresa May until now to come to that realisation.

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In the days ahead we can expect tributes and analysis of May’s time in office. Her few remaining allies – and insincere enemies – will be charitable, but their warm words will be of little comfort to a politician so marred by failure.

It was the end of her speech that provoked the biggest reaction. As she told the nation that it had been her privilege to serve “the country I love” her voice cracked, and the tears came. She hurried back inside; and we saw a politician criticised for her robotic leadership style showing a rare glimpse of emotion.

Soon came the predictable wave of gendered sympathy. For some, her political failures and choices were forgotten, and she was cast as a poor, misguided woman who’s only sin was being out of her depth.

Theresa May did try her best. But her best wasn’t good enough. She wasn’t good enough. Whether a different Tory MP could have handled the Brexit process any better is moot.

She was a senior politician who had held ministerial offices throughout her political career.

That she became Prime Minister wasn’t a surprise, but how ineffective she proved to be certainly was.

Scotland’s next prime minister will be chosen by the hard-Brexit Tory membership base. Theresa May has departed the stage, but it is who will replace her that we should be concerned about.

This period of instability is far from over, as the clock ticks down to the October 31 deadline. Without a General Election, the hard maths that Theresa May was faced with in Parliament endures.

The UK Parliament is in, and will continue to be in, paralysis – as the domestic agenda is forgotten in the Brexit vacuum.

Theresa May leaves behind a bigger mess than she inherited, with Parliament and the public even more entrenched in their positions and unwilling or unable to see a clear way forward.

The Tory leadership contest that isn’t due to start until June is very much under way. Over the next few months we can expect to see more false promises, vague platitudes and high drama as the contenders fight for the top job.

Democracy has become a buzzword for Brexit but what we are about to witness doesn’t seem to me to be the “will of the people” in any true sense.

Scotland, again, will have its prime minister chosen for us. Even the best or most moderate of a bad bunch will be unwanted among the Scottish public. We voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU and have a different vision for our country than that of the Tory kingmakers.

Theresa May has finally been forced to own up to her own failures, but this dark chapter in our history rumbles on.

Even among her fiercest critics, her humiliation is not a cause for celebration. There is no joy in revelling in the misery of a failed premiership and a figure of such diminished status when her downfall is inextricably linked to ours.

Nothing is more certain today than it was yesterday. All we know is that things are about to get much, much worse. The question is – what is Scotland going to do about it?