I have a very naïve view on politics and am having a hard time to understand why Theresa May does not resign.

  • All her proposals have been rejected by the Parliament.

  • Not only they were rejected, but she was forbidden to have a no-deal exit (with the expectation of a miracle of having an agreement while none of them are acceptable)

  • When she has a new proposal now, it gets rejected even before getting to the parliament (something I heard this morning on the radio).

Why doesn't she say, certainly with better words, "I am done and now you band of idiots show how you would do it since you are such geniuses".

Is this because

  • she has a sense of mission, pride, honor?
  • she has no readily available alternatives in her career
  • not resigning will help her in the future, once she resigns?
  • something else?
  • 6
    Hysterically, Theresa May has in fact now resigned, effective June 7th.
    – F1Krazy
    Commented May 24, 2019 at 9:24
  • 1
    @F1Krazy sure, in the same way she announced leaving the EU on the 29th of March. She stays until the Conservatives have a new leader.
    – JJJ
    Commented May 29, 2019 at 4:24

2 Answers 2


In short, she'd like to secure her legacy by being the PM who pulled off delivering Brexit. (Edit: as she resigned this morning she raised that not delivering Brexit was her deep regret.)

If she fails to do that before leaving, she'll be remembered as the PM who:

  • Failed to deliver Brexit after 3 years
  • Couldn't keep her cabinet and her party together throughout her tenure
  • Was at the helm while the Conservative party suffered its worst electoral routs in living memory
  • (Maybe) split the Conservative party to boot
  • Initiated and continued the immigration policies that led to the Windrush scandal
  • Continued the social policies that inflicted great misery on the UK's less well-off

Or put another way, she'll be remembered as one of the worst PMs in history, with nothing positive attached to her name. And she's keenly -- indeed, tearfully -- aware of what this will make her look like in history books.

  • 1
    Of course, there's the counter-argument that by staying, she's remembered as the PM who ignored the wishes of her own party and a significant portion of the country by not resigning when it was repeatedly made clear that they wanted her to, and kept desperately repeating to pass the same deal after it had been repeatedly voted down, which isn't much better, as legacies go. I can understand the desire to salvage one's reputation, but I think at this point it's becoming the political-career equivalent of the sunk cost fallacy... Commented May 23, 2019 at 15:26
  • 1
    None of that seems to be sourced to an explanation provided by Theresa May.
    – JdeBP
    Commented May 23, 2019 at 15:52
  • @anaximander You make a very good point. It seems there is perhaps some level of denial on her part at this point, at the situation she is facing.
    – Time4Tea
    Commented May 23, 2019 at 18:34

Well, she just did!


Theresa May quits: UK set for new PM by end of July

Theresa May has said she will quit as Conservative leader on 7 June, paving the way for a contest to decide a new prime minister.

Mrs May said she would continue to serve as PM while a Conservative leadership contest took place.

you were just one day too early with your question.

  • This is interesting information, but if BBC decides to change the URL, this answer is useless. Please, include some key information within the answer itself.
    – Alexei
    Commented May 29, 2019 at 9:54
  • @Alexei Sorry for the delay. Would this be alright? Commented Jun 10, 2019 at 14:56

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .