A police officer stands outside 10 Downing Street, the residence of British Prime Minister Theresa May, in London, England, Friday, May 24, 2019. Conservative lawmakers have given May until Friday to announce a departure date or face a likely leadership challenge. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

The Latest: May to step down as party leader on June 7

May 24, 2019 - 5:11 am

LONDON (AP) — The Latest on Brexit and Britain's political crisis (all times local):

10:05 a.m.

Theresa May says she will step down as U.K. Conservative Party leader on June 7, sparking a contest to become Britain's next prime minister.

She will stay as caretaker prime minister until the new leader is chosen, a process likely to take several weeks.

May has bowed to relentless pressure from her party to quit over her failure to take Britain out of the European Union on schedule.

Her departure will trigger a party leadership contest in which any Conservative lawmaker can run. The early front-runner is Boris Johnson, a former foreign secretary and strong champion of Brexit.

Britain is currently due to leave the EU on Oct. 31, but Parliament has yet to approve divorce terms.

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8:55 a.m.

British Prime Minister Theresa May is meeting a leader of her Conservative lawmakers amid mounting speculation that she is about to announce her departure date.

The party's key backbench committee has set a showdown meeting Friday for May to agree to leave soon or face a leadership challenge.

Pressure on May to quit over her failure to get Parliament's approval for a European Union divorce deal reached critical point this week as a senior minister quit and several Cabinet colleagues expressed doubts about her Brexit bill.

Several British media outlets reported that May would agree to give up the prime minister's post June 10, sparking a Conservative leadership contest.

She could stay in office as a caretaker prime minister for several weeks until party lawmakers and members choose a successor.

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