July 24, 2019 / 12:06 PM / a month ago

British PM May's parting shot for Labour's Corbyn: your time is up

LONDON (Reuters) - Outgoing British Prime Minister Theresa May issued a parting shot to opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn on Wednesday, using her final weekly parliamentary question session to suggest he follow her lead and quit his job.

May, who will officially hand over to her successor Boris Johnson later on Wednesday, is stepping down after just over three years in the job, having failed to deliver Britain’s exit from the European Union.

Many Labour lawmakers are unhappy with Corbyn’s leadership, particularly his handling of a long-running anti-Semitism crisis within the party and his equivocation over Labour’s position on Brexit. But he has strong support among the party’s grassroots and in 2016 he survived an attempt to oust him.

“Perhaps I could just finish my exchange with him by saying this: as a party leader who has accepted when her time was up, perhaps the time is now for him to do the same,” May said, prompting huge cheers from her Conservative lawmakers and shouts of “more”.

May herself survived a confidence vote in December but after her Brexit deal was roundly rejected by parliament three times, even after she promised to go if it was passed, she bowed to pressure from her lawmakers to let someone else take over.

Appearing emotional at times, May also used her final appearance in parliament as prime minister to pay tribute to her husband, Philip, who was watching from the public gallery.

Reporting by Kylie MacLellan; editing by Guy Faulconbridge

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