LONDON: On the resignation of Prime Minister Theresa May, in a joint statement by the Brandon Lewis MP, Chairman of the Conservative Party, and Dame Cheryl Gillan MP and Charles Walker OBE MP, Vice-Chairmen of the 1922 Committee have said that we are saddened by her decision but understand it, and thank her for her years of service to our Party and our nation, not just as Prime Minister but over many decades before that.
“After the Prime Minister has resigned as Leader of the Conservative Party, we will begin the process to elect a new Leader. The timetable for this is set by the Executive of the 1922 Committee after consultation with the Party Board, which includes representatives of the voluntary, Parliamentary and professional party. We intend that the Parliamentary stages of the contest – which involves determining the final choice of candidates to put before all members of the party – should begin with the close of nominations in the week commencing 10 June.
“Successive rounds of voting will take place until a final choice of candidates to put to a vote of all party members is determined. We expect that process to be concluded by the end of June, allowing for a series of hustings around the UK for members to meet and question the candidates, then cast their votes in time for the result to be announced before Parliament rises for the summer.
“We are deeply conscious that the Conservatives are not just selecting the person best placed to become the new leader of our party, but also the next Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. That is a solemn responsibility, particularly at such an important time for our nation. We will therefore propose that the leadership election and hustings involve opportunities for non-members and people who may not yet vote Conservative to meet the candidates and put their questions to them too.
“None of us will be candidates in the leadership election, nor will we support any candidate. Our focus will be on facilitating a full, fair and frank debate and contest. We have discussed this proposal with the Chairman of the Conservative National Convention, who is also content with it.”