Theresa May will become prime minister on Wednesday

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Theresa May Set to Become Britain's Next Prime Minister

Theresa May will become the next prime minister of the United Kingdom on Wednesday evening.

Current Prime Minister David Cameron announced on Monday afternoon that he intends to resign by Wednesday evening, paving the way for the Home Secretary to take over much earlier than initially expected.

Speaking outside 10 Downing Street, Cameron said he was "delighted" May was going to be his successor and lauded her as a "strong" politician.

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Conservative party official Graham Brady confirmed earlier in the day that he was set to formally appoint May as the party's new leader after her only challenger, Andrea Leadsom, pulled out at about noon in the UK.

Brady initially refused to give a timeline for when May could take over from the outgoing David Cameron. However, the prime minister said that he will chair his final cabinet meeting on Tuesday and take part in one more session of Prime Minister's Questions on Wednesday, before passing the baton on to May.

When Leadsom first announced her decision to exit the race, there was debate on social media about whether the Tories' backbench 1922 Committee, which controls party elections, would be obliged to put forward a new candidate to stand against May. However, the path is now clear for May to become just the second female prime minister in the country's history after Margaret Thatcher.

Before Leadsom's announcement, May gave a speech in Birmingham outlining her vision for the country. She pledged to tackle inequality and make the UK a country that works for "everyone" — not just the privileged few. She said:

"If you're from a working-class family, life is just much harder than many people in politics realise."

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Britain's Home Secretary, Theresa May, delivers a speech at RUSI (Royal United Services Institute) in London, Britain June 30, 2016. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez
Britain's Home Secretary, Theresa May, arrives in Downing Street in central London, Britain June 27, 2016. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls
Britain's Home Secretary Theresa May speaks on the third day of the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester northern Britain, October 6 , 2015. REUTERS/Phil Noble
Britain's home secretary Theresa May arrives at Westminster Abbey for a thanksgiving service on the final day of 70th anniversary Victory in Europe (VE) day commemorations in central London May 10, 2015. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett
Britain's Home Secretary Theresa May addresses the Police Federation's conference in Bournemouth, southern England, Britain May 20, 2015. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth
Britain's Home Secretary Theresa May curtsies as she greets Queen Elizabeth during a ceremonial welcome for Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto and his wife Angelica Rivera, at Horse Guards Parade in London March 3, 2015. The President and his wife are guests of Queen Elizabeth during their three day state visit to Britain. REUTERS/POOL/Leon Neal (BRITAIN - Tags: POLITICS ROYALS ENTERTAINMENT)
Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron (L) and Home secretary Theresa May arrive at a ceremonial welcome for the President of Singapore Tony Tan, and his wife, at Horse Guards Parade in London October 21, 2014. The President and his wife will be guests of Queen Elizabeth during the first state visit of a Singapore President to Britain. REUTERS/Toby Melville (BRITAIN - Tags: POLITICS ROYALS)
Britain's Home Secretary Theresa May speaks as she opens the Ukraine Forum on Asset Recovery at Lancaster House in central London, April 29, 2014. REUTERS/Andrew Winning (BRITAIN - Tags: CRIME LAW POLITICS BUSINESS)
Britain's Home Secretary Theresa May gestures next to an unidentified man during the evening swimming session at the London 2012 Paralympic Games at the Aquatics Centre August 30, 2012. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett (BRITAIN - Tags: SPORT OLYMPICS SWIMMING POLITICS)
Britain's Home Secretary Theresa May arrives for the service of thanksgiving to mark the Diamond Jubilee of Britain's Queen Elizabeth at St Paul's cathedral in central London June 5, 2012. Four days of nationwide celebrations during which millions of people have turned out to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee conclude on Tuesday with a church service and carriage procession through central London. REUTERS/Kieran Doherty (BRITAIN - Tags: ANNIVERSARY ENTERTAINMENT SOCIETY ROYALS)
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) meets with British Home Secretary Theresa May at the London Conference on Somalia, February 23, 2012. REUTERS/Jason Reed (BRITAIN - Tags: POLITICS)
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"You have a job, but you don't always have job security. You have your own home, but you worry about mortgage rates going up. You can just about manage, but you worry about the cost of living and the quality of the local school, because there's no other choice for you."

She also vowed to eradicate "irresponsible behaviour" from big businesses by putting workers on the boards of major firms and giving shareholders more influence over how much corporate executives are paid.

Michael Gove and Boris Johnson, who were both dubbed as potential successors to Cameron, have each declared support for May. "We should now move as quickly as possible to ensure Theresa May can take over," Gove said. "She has my full support as our next prime minister."

Johnson posted the following tweets:

Before Leadsom's announcement, May gave a speech in Birmingham outlining her vision for the country. She pledged to tackle inequality and make the UK a country that works for "everyone" — not just the privileged few. She said:

"If you're from a working-class family, life is just much harder than many people in politics realise."

" You have a job, but you don't always have job security. You have your own home, but you worry about mortgage rates going up. You can just about manage, but you worry about the cost of living and the quality of the local school, because there's no other choice for you."

She also vowed to eradicate "irresponsible behaviour" from big businesses by putting workers on the boards of major firms and giving shareholders more influence over how much corporate executives are paid.

Michael Gove and Boris Johnson, who were both dubbed as potential successors to Cameron, have each declared support for May. "We should now move as quickly as possible to ensure Theresa May can take over," Gove said. "She has my full support as our next prime minister."

A source close to the member of Parliament for South Northamptonshire told the BBC that the abuse Leadsom had received in recent days was "too great." Leadsom was heavily criticised forimplying in an interview with the Times newspaper that being a mother made her a better candidate for prime minister than May.

Former government minister Iain Duncan Smith told Sky that Leadsom's withdrawal meant that May should be appointed as Cameron's replacement without delay.

Smith, who supported Leadsom's campaign, said: "The reality is it will be quick and there's no reason to delay. The reason for her withdrawal is that we get on with this as quickly as possible."

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