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Today (5/24/2019), Theresa May announced that she will step down as UK Prime Minister, and that she will quit as Conservative Party leader on 7th June.

Why is she waiting until 7th June? Why waste two weeks and not just step down as party leader today?

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Aside from the political reasons given in Denis de Bernardy's answer, there are administrative benefits to the delay, such as Conservative MPs vanishing off from Westminster for the Whitsun recess next week, and the 1922 Committee (who run things like this in the Conservative party) having already starting planning for a contest commencing on the 10th of June.

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Based on the reporting, she's staying a bit longer for two main reasons:

The prime minister will remain in Downing Street, to shoulder the blame for what are expected to be dire results for her party from Thursday’s European elections – and to host Donald Trump when he visits.

Trump will be visiting the UK from June 3 to June 5.

Another issue, which might explain why the leadership contest only begins in full swing on June 10 rather than immediately or June 8, is that the Tories are looking into changing the rules to elect their leader. There are a few more details about the election procedure on Wikipedia.

  • This makes sense. However, if she stepped down as party leader today, she would still be Prime Minister until the Conservatives choose a new leader, which would probably take at least a couple of weeks anyway. Why not start the party leadership contset today? – Time4Tea May 25 at 11:50
  • @Time4Tea: my edit might hint at the reason. – Denis de Bernardy May 25 at 12:26
  • Ok, thanks for the expanded answer. – Time4Tea May 25 at 13:04
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    Also, so that she has held the job for longer than Gordon Brown, the last Labour Prime Minister, whose duration in office she passes on about June 3. – Mike Scott May 25 at 17:40

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