Europe

Outgoing Conservative leader Theresa May attends her final PM's questions

Theresa May speaking during her last Prime Minister's Questions. Source: UK Parliament

Outgoing British Prime Minister Theresa May has issued a parting shot to opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, suggesting he follow her lead and quit his job.

Outgoing UK Prime Minister Theresa May has issued a parting shot to opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, using her final weekly parliamentary question session to suggest he follow her lead and quit his job.

Ms May, who will officially hand over to her successor Boris Johnson later on Wednesday, is stepping down after just over three years in the job, having failed to deliver Britain's exit from the European Union.

Many Labour politicians are unhappy with Mr Corbyn's leadership, particularly his handling of a long-running anti-Semitism crisis within the party and his equivocation over Labour's position on Brexit.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn listens to Prime Minister Theresa May during her last Prime Minister's Questions.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn listens to Prime Minister Theresa May during her last Prime Minister's Questions.
PA Wire

But he has strong support among the party's grassroots and in 2016 he survived an attempt to oust him.

"Perhaps I could just finish my exchange with him by saying this: as a party leader who has accepted when her time was up, perhaps the time is now for him to do the same," Ms May said, prompting huge cheers from her Conservative politicians and shouts of "more".

Ms May herself survived a confidence vote in December but after her Brexit deal was roundly rejected by parliament three times, even after she promised to go if it was passed, she bowed to pressure to let someone else take over.

Mr Corbyn paid tribute to Ms May's "sense of public duty" and repeated his call for a general election.

He said he hoped Ms May, who will remain a member of parliament, will "oppose the reckless plans of her successor," apparently referring to Johnson's vow to withdraw Britain from the European Union by October 31, with or without a deal.

Appearing emotional at times, Ms May also used her final appearance in parliament as prime minister to pay tribute to her husband, Philip, who was watching from the public gallery.

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