It hasn’t been an easy few months for Theresa May, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. In the UK, although the Prime Minister of the country is the leader of the Government, they do not enjoy the same guaranteed power that a President does. The name itself explains the power; prime comes from the latin primus, which means first. So, in the UK Government whilst the leader is “first”, actually all of the other Ministers have a similar level of power (in theory).
For a Minister, or for the Prime Minister to make changes to their department or policy, normally they will need to create a new law for Parliament to discuss and vote on. They can make any law or policy that they want to, but they can only action it (ie, make the changes they want to) after Parliament has passed the law. Even for laws that Parliament agrees to, this is a long and complicated process, but as Theresa May has found out over the last few months, it is even more difficult when Parliament says no.
And over the last few months, they have said no to her “Brexit Deal” (the way that we leave the European Union and the future relationship between the UK and the EU) many times. In fact, not only have they rejected her idea, they’ve also rejected most of their own ideas too. Due to the fact that they have rejected her idea several times, she offered a concession to Parliament, saying that if they agreed to her plan and let her finalise the Brexit agreement, she would quit. Unfortunately for Theresa that wasn’t enough, and Parliament once again rejected her idea.
Her decision to resign is not a big surprise, because she has been saying for a long time that she would. But, what shocked a lot of people was how quickly May will go. She announced this morning that she would quit in 2 weeks, on Friday June 7th.
Because of the way the UK Government works, when the Prime Minister of the country quits, there isn’t a requirement to hold an election. All of the representatives in May’s party, The Conservatives, can hold a leadership election amongst themselves to pick a new leader, and as they are the biggest Party in the UK Parliament, that person will automatically become the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.