Andrea Leadsom has quit the Conservative leadership race, paving the way for Theresa May to become party leader and prime minister.

In a public appearance, Leadsom read from her resignation letter, saying that she chose to resign because she believed that the UK needed a new leader to steady the economy after the post-Brexit crash to the pound and FTSE 250.

Privately, Leadsom is said to have quit the race because of the negative attention she had received from the public and other Tory MPs after lying about NHS investment in the Brexit campaign, ‘sexing up’ her CV, and ‘attacking’ May for not having children.

Theresa May gave lukewarm support to the Remain campaign in the EU referendum, but notably did not join David Cameron on the campaign trail because she was planning her own leadership bid in the wake of the result.

As home secretary for the last six years, May was personally responsible for the levels of immigration into the UK, which became a major campaign issue for the Brexit campaign. She remained conspicuously silent on the issue of immigration during the EU referendum, as any admission of her involvement would likely torpedo any future designs she had to lead the country as prime minister.

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