Standing outside the door to Number 10, she said it was the ‘greatest honour’ to serve as leader of the United Kingdom and thanked the British people for ‘putting your faith in me’. Mrs May was the second female prime minister after Margaret Thatcher and used her last speech to send a message to young girls. She said: ‘This is a country of aspiration and opportunity and I hope that every young girl who has seen a woman prime minister now knows there are no limits to what they can achieve.’ Her speech was interrupted by a Brexit protester who heckled her from the gates of Downing Street, shouting: ‘Stop Brexit!’ Mrs May’s husband Philip, who was standing nearby, replied: ‘That wasn’t me’ and Mrs May added, ‘I think not’.
Her voice cracked with emotion as she concluded her 64-minute finale by insisting her ‘greatest motivation’ will be her duty to her Maidenhead constituents. Mrs May, who was watched by her husband Philip, received a standing ovation from Tory MPs, the DUP and the Liberal Democrats. Britain’s second female prime minister was asked how she feels about handing over to a successor who has ‘demonised Muslims’, ‘chucked’ public servants ‘under the bus’ and will ‘sell out’ the UK to ‘Donald Trump and his friends’. May defended Johnson as a Conservative who will ‘deliver a bright future for the country’. She added: ‘I am pleased to hand over to an incoming PM who I worked with when he was in my cabinet… he stood on a Conservative manifesto in 2017 on delivering on the decision of the British people in 2016.’ The packed PMQs turned heated and bitter as Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn asked if she will help him oppose the ‘reckless’ Brexit plan of Boris and attacked ‘three years of bungled negotiations’ over the UK’s exit from the EU.
He went on to say school funding, police numbers and GP numbers have all fallen under Mrs May’s government. May hit back by saying Corbyn voted against the deal and made no deal more likely. She told the Commons: ‘I fear that our success hasn’t been what it should be given the amount of fake news he uses from that despatch box’. She ended her address by saying: ‘As a party leader who has accepted when her time is up, perhaps he should do the same.’ May also said she will be staying on as MP for Maidenhead.
The PM said she will continue with her duties from the back benches, adding: ‘This morning I had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others. ‘Following my duties in this House this afternoon I shall have an audience of Her Majesty the Queen. ‘I shall then continue with my duties in this House from the back benches where I will continue to be the member of parliament for Maidenhead.’