They lined up to laud her dignity and sense of duty – despite spending the previous weeks doing their best to unseat her.
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt called her a ‘true public servant’, a day after telling her he was withdrawing his support for her Brexit deal.
Boris Johnson, the frontrunner in the leadership race, thanked the PM for her ‘stoical service’ on Twitter.
Boris Johnson (pictured yesterday), the frontrunner in the leadership race, thanked the PM for her ‘stoical service’ on Twitter
He tweeted to say Mrs May’s statement was ‘dignified’ after weeks of criticising her
The message was retweeted by Nicola Sturgeon, the Scottish first minister, with the comment: ‘What a hypocrite’
The message was retweeted by Nicola Sturgeon, the Scottish first minister, with the comment: ‘What a hypocrite’.
And Andrea Leadsom said she wished Mrs May all the best, just two days after bringing her premiership to the brink by resigning as Leader of the House over Brexit.
The string of well-wishing messages was criticised as ‘nauseating’ by Angela Rayner, Labour’s education spokesman.
She tweeted: ‘The sight of sycophantic Tory wannabe leaders lining up to heap praise on the PM for her courageous and stoic leadership is nauseating, many of these potential Tory leadership candidates have been persistently undermining the PM for such a long time waiting for this day to arrive.’
Last week, while Mrs May was still trying to get her withdrawal deal approved by the Commons, Mr Johnson said he would stand in a leadership contest.
But yesterday the former foreign secretary praised her ‘dignified’ exit, tweeting: ‘It is now time to follow her urgings: to come together and deliver Brexit.’
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt (pictued outside Downing Street in March) called her a ‘true public servant’, a day after telling her he was withdrawing his support for her Brexit deal
Hunt’s tweet paid tribute to her efforts with Brexit and the NHS
Labour MP Steve Reed said: ‘You created this whole mess then knifed the woman who failed to clear it up, your self-serving hypocrisy demeans politics.’
Mr Hunt wrote: ‘Delivering Brexit was always going to be a huge task, but one she met every day with courage and resolve.’
The Foreign Secretary has run a ‘stop Boris’ leadership campaign for weeks. And on Thursday he told the PM he could no longer support her withdrawal agreement.
Liz Truss, the chief secretary to the Treasury – who has also been running a leadership campaign – called the PM’s exit ‘very dignified’.
Former Brexit secretary Dominic Raab, who has also said he will stand, said: ‘She remains a dedicated public servant, patriot and loyal Conservative.’
Mrs Leadsom tweeted: ‘She did her utmost, and I wish her all the very best.’
Tory backbencher Mark Francois said he felt sympathy for Mrs May days after he made a much-criticised throat-slitting gesture during Prime Minister’s Questions. Yesterday he said: ‘Unfortunately, the Dancing Queen has met her Waterloo.’
Jacob Rees-Mogg, who orchestrated last year’s no-confidence vote in the PM, said: ‘An unquestionably dutiful person left with dignity and the Conservatives must now get on and deliver Brexit.’