Theresa May steps down as leader of UK’s Conservatives

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May

British Prime Minister Theresa May steps down as leader of Britain’s governing Conservatives on Friday. The race to replace her is already underway and the winner is expected to give the Conservatives a tougher stance on Brexit.

She announced she would step down in late May after failing to deliver Britain’s departure from the European Union on time. The candidates lining up to replace her as head of the party all differ in opinion over whether Brexit should happen with or without a deal.

Official nominations will be received on June 10. The selection process should be completed by the end of July.

Former foreign minister Boris Johnson is the favorite to win. He champions a tougher stance on Brexit, saying Britain should leave with or without a deal by the new deadline of Oct. 31, and is trying to persuade Conservatives that he, a former London mayor, is the only candidate who could win a new national election for the Conservative Party.

Other front runners are playing catch up, with the current foreign minister, Jeremy Hunt, and environment minister Michael Gove taking a more moderate stance on Brexit.

May will stay on as prime minister until her party elects a new leader.

“For the remainder of her time in office, she will be building on the domestic agenda that she has put at the heart of her premiership,” her spokeswoman told reporters.

May, once a reluctant supporter of EU membership who emerged from the chaos after the 2016 referendum as the “steady” choice, steps down with her central pledge – to lead Britain out of the bloc and heal the country’s divisions – unfulfilled.