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Theresa May Vows to Set a Date for Stepping Down as U.K. Prime Minister

Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain promised on Thursday that she would set a date to step down as the country’s leader, starting the countdown to ending one of the most troubled premierships in recent British history.

For months she had shrugged off parliamentary defeats, negotiating failures and calls from her own lawmakers to resign.

But after a lengthy meeting with senior lawmakers in her governing Conservative Party on Thursday, Mrs. May agreed to set a timetable next month for stepping down, according to a statement by the party.

The chairman of the party committee, Graham Brady, said in the statement that Mrs. May had agreed to set the timetable after another Parliamentary vote on her plan to remove Britain from the European Union.

In the past, she had agreed to step down if her Brexit plan — which has failed three times — won approval in Parliament. Now, she has effectively agreed to leave whether her plan passes or not.

The statement intensified jostling among her many rivals that has been underway unofficially for many months.

Boris Johnson, the former foreign secretary and a leader of the pro-Brexit campaign before the country’s 2016 referendum on leaving the European Union, said on Thursday that he would run for the leadership when it became available.

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