UK Politics

Theresa May 'looking forward to being backbench MP'

Theresa May at the G20 summit in Osaka Image copyright PA Media

Theresa May has said she is looking forward to returning to life as a backbench MP after she steps down as prime minister next month.

Mrs May told ITV News she would be devoting "my full time" to her Maidenhead constituency, in Berkshire.

David Cameron quit as an MP three months after he resigned as prime minister in June 2016.

But predecessor Gordon Brown remained a backbencher for five years after losing the 2010 general election.

Mrs May is among world leaders who have gathered in Osaka, Japan for the G20 summit, one of her last international engagements as UK prime minister.

She officially quit as Conservative leader on 7 June, having failed to get the Brexit deal she negotiated with the EU through Parliament.

But she will remain prime minister until 24 July.

A day before that the Conservative Party will announce the winner of the contest to succeed her - either Jeremy Hunt and Boris Johnson.

Image copyright Jonathan Brady
Image caption The Mays are often photographed going to and leaving church

Earlier this month Mrs May confirmed she would remain in Parliament after leaving Downing Street - leading veteran Labour MP Barry Sheerman to suggest she might "give some of the people who will take over after her a bit of the medicine they have given her".

Mrs May has been MP for Maidenhead since 1997, retaining the seat in 2017 with a 26,457 majority, and is often photographed attending church on Sundays, and at local events.

In one of a series of interviews in Osaka, she told ITV News: "It's a huge privilege to be prime minister. It's a huge honour. It's a huge responsibility.

"I will look back on, yes, difficult and challenging times in relation to Brexit, but also some important decisions that have been taken under my premiership."

Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Theresa May retained Maidenhead with a large majority at the last general election

Mrs May added: "One of the most recent of those, of course, is the target for net-zero emissions by 2050 which is now in law in the UK. We are leading the way on that.

"I am proud of the work that we have done in the UK and I look forward to returning to the backbenches and (being) able to give my full time to my constituency."

Her predecessor, David Cameron, stood down as an MP within months of leaving No 10, while Tony Blair triggered a by-election on the same day as quitting.

Sir Edward Heath, prime minister from 1970 to 1974, remained in Parliament until 2001.

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