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May says she’s honored to be chosen as UK leader

Jill Lawless
Associated Press

London — Incoming British Prime Minister Theresa May says she is “honored and humbled” to be chosen as new leader.

May addressed her supporters amid a dramatic and turbulent day, trying to reassure the public with characteristic grit and poise. The point was to underscore that the transfer of power will happen smoothly after the vote favoring a British exit from the European Union, or Brexit.

In her brief statement, she repeated that “Brexit means Brexit” and she will make a success of it.

One of the most experienced ministers in government, May is set to be the country’s new prime minister following 18 tumultuous days in politics since the EU referendum.

The 59-year-old became the leader in waiting when her only rival withdrew from the race, citing a need for national stability and continuity following the vote.

Britain’s Conservative Party confirmed that May has been elected party leader “with immediate effect” and will become the country’s next prime minister.

Graham Brady, who heads the committee running the leadership election, says May was confirmed by the party board after her only remaining rival withdrew from the race.

Prime Minister David Cameron has said he will step down on Wednesday and May will immediately replace him.

May, who has been Britain’s home secretary for six years, will become the country’s second female prime minister.