British PM Theresa May hinted she'll quit this year: Sources

LONDON • British Cabinet ministers believe Mrs Theresa May is preparing to resign as Prime Minister this summer so she can influence who succeeds her, according to The Sun newspaper.

The Sun on Monday quoted sources as saying that at least two senior Cabinet figures have come to that conclusion from hints given to them by Mrs May.

International Trade Secretary Liam Fox is one of the senior ministers that Mrs May has reportedly given the hints to.

"Liam is convinced she'll go this summer. He says everything the PM has told him suggests that. She's determined to ensure the right person follows her, and she'll have no say at all if it gets to the stage of forcing her out," a senior Tory source told The Sun.

Business Secretary Greg Clark has also reportedly told friends he expects Mrs May to voluntarily stand down this year.

Mrs May's move will widely be seen as a bid to stop longstanding rival Boris Johnson from getting the top job, the Sun said. The newspaper also said the Prime Minister will likely set out a timetable for a new Tory leadership contest to end at the party's annual conference in October, reported Reuters.

British lawmakers last month rejected Mrs May's original Brexit deal that set out the terms by which Britain would leave the European Union. They voted to demand Mrs May seek changes to the treaty.

Britain is due to leave the EU on March 29.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 13, 2019, with the headline 'British PM hinted she'll quit this year: Sources'. Print Edition | Subscribe