Borders MPs’ praise for Theresa May following her decision to step down

Happier times: David Mundell with Theresa May.
Happier times: David Mundell with Theresa May.

Two of Theresa May’s most loyal supporters – Borders MPs John Lamont and David Mundell have praised the prime minister following her statement this morning that she is to stand down.

Mrs May appeared to break down at the end of her speech outside No10 Downing Street just after 10am, in which she said she would be resigning as leader of the Conservative Party on June 7.

Happier times: Prime minister Theresa May visits Abbey Tool and Gauge in Kelso in 2017, with prospective candidate John Lamont and Abbey's production manager Alistair Reid.

Happier times: Prime minister Theresa May visits Abbey Tool and Gauge in Kelso in 2017, with prospective candidate John Lamont and Abbey's production manager Alistair Reid.

It’s believed she will remain in place as prime minister of the United Kingdom until such time as the party elects a new leader.

She had previously insisted she wanted to remain in place until the withdrawal arrangement she had negotiated with the European Union had passed through Parliament and Brexit was under way.

However, she has failed to drum up enough support for it, despite putting it to the vote by MPs no less than three times ... and in the last few days she has come under serious pressure by members of her cabinet to step down.

Mr Mundell, who as Scottish secretary is a member of that cabinet, spoke of his sadness over the circumstances of her upcoming resignation, while praising her for her efforts during her time in office, but added that she had become “an impediment to the resolution of Brexit”.

The MP for Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale told The Southern: “I am very sorry it has come to this.

“Nobody could have worked harder, or shown a greater sense of public duty, in delivering the result of the EU referendum than Theresa May.

“She has my utmost respect for those endeavours, in the most challenging of circumstances, as well as her unswerving commitment to the Union.

“As Mrs May herself acknowledges, she has, however unfairly, become an impediment to the resolution of Brexit, and was no longer being given a hearing by Parliament.

“Yesterday’s elections will surely show that delivering Brexit is now more urgent than ever, and that will fall to a new Prime Minister.

“It’s time to get on with the process of appointing one.”

Mr Lamont, MP for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk, who has also steadfastly supported Mrs May apart from one occasion when he voted against her Brexit withdrawal agreement at its first attempt, said on Twitter this morning that he had “much to thank her for”.

He wrote: “Under Mrs May’s leadership, I was elected as one of the 12 new Scottish Conservative MPs.

“I have much to thank her for.

“She’s led our country through one of the most challenging times in our history.

“Mrs May’s dignified words show her sense of duty and love of her country.”