Leadsom to Face May in Contest for British Prime Minister

The energy minister makes it into the runoff, but Theresa May is still the favorite to succeed David Cameron.

British energy minister Andrea Leadsom is seen in London, England, May 11, 2015
British energy minister Andrea Leadsom is seen in London, England, May 11, 2015 (Department of Energy and Climate Change)

Home Secretary Theresa May and Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom have made it into the runoff of the British Conservative Party’s leadership contest.

They received the most support from lawmakers who winnowed down an original list of five candidates to two.

Ordinary Conservative Party members will pick a winner in the coming weeks, who would then take David Cameron’s place as party leader and prime minister in September.


Cameron announced this resignation last month after Britons voted in a referendum to leave the European Union.

Cameron had campaigned for a “remain” vote.

So had May, but she is temperamentally more in sync with party members than the liberal Cameron and considered the favorite to succeed him.

She won 199 out of 329 votes from parliamentarians on Thursday against 84 for Leadsom.


Leadsom was one of the leaders of the “leave” campaign and distinguished herself from the other Brexiteer in the race, Michael Gove, by promising to immediately invoke Article 50 of the EU treaty if she is elected, which would begin the process of separating the United Kingdom from the bloc.

May and Gove have argued there is no need to rush the divorce proceedings.

Gove’s popularity suffered a blow after he was perceived to have betrayed the figurehead of the leave campaign, Boris Johnson.

Gove, the justice secretary, had vowed to support the former mayor but announced his own candidacy at the last minute.

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