LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Theresa May should step down immediately after negotiating a temporary extension to Britain’s European Union membership, the Daily Telegraph newspaper said in its Saturday edition.
Lawmakers rejected May’s Brexit plans for a third time on Friday, leaving Britain’s withdrawal from the EU in turmoil on the very day it had been supposed to quit the bloc.
“She must now see - or must be told - that while she can meet with the EU to negotiate an extension for Brexit, that is the natural end of the road. She must then bow out, for the sake of Brexit, for her party and for democracy itself,” the newspaper said in an editorial column.
The Telegraph has traditionally been seen as the preferred newspaper of members of May’s Conservative Party.
On Wednesday May told Conservative lawmakers that she would resign as leader if parliament approved her Brexit deal, which would take Britain out of the EU and pave the way for talks on a future trade agreement.
However, the prospect of a new prime minister to lead the next stage of Brexit negotiations was insufficient to win over lawmakers on Friday, some of whom fear her deal would leave Britain tied to the EU if future trade talks collapse.
May, who survived a leadership challenge in December, hinted in parliament on Friday that she might need to call a national election to win a majority for Brexit legislation.
“The prospect of Mrs May ... triggering an election and leading the Tories to a triple-figure majority, is surreal,” the Telegraph told its readers.
Britain’s highest-circulation paid-for newspaper, the Sun, called on May to step down in a front-page article in its Monday edition.
The Daily Mail, another newspaper that supported Brexit, described parliament’s decision to vote against May’s plans as “The Brexit Betrayal” on its front page.
Reporting by David Milliken in London; Editing by James Dalgleish