THERESA May was just a few seconds from a clean getaway.
She’d announced her resignation, laid out her achievements in office and was in the closing seconds of telling the nation she felt no ill will now her premiership is at an end.
London News Pictures Theresa May made a teary farewell statement as she announced that she will be stepping down as Prime Minister in June
Then the chin started to wobble, the voice cracked and, as she emotionally emphasised the words “the country I love”, her real feelings emerged.
Only the hardest of hearts could fail to feel sorry for her particularly as, unlike other Prime Ministers in the past, she chose to stand outside Downing Street alone.
There was pain in that last sentence, a deep-seated fondness for Britain, and an over-whelming sense that she clearly feels a burning sense of injustice at how she’s perceived by her many detractors — myself among them.
But no one has ever questioned Mrs May’s sense of duty to her country.
In fact, as many of her political colleagues flocked to lavish post-resignation praise, the recurring theme was that of “dedicated public servant”.
Admirable, yes, and probably makes you a “strong and stable” MP for Maidenhead.
SHE LACKED A BREADTH OF VISION
But when it comes to leading the country, that elusive “X Factor” is needed.
In fact, if she had shown just one small flash of that “country I love” passion in her dealings with the EU she might have successfully delivered Brexit and stayed in the top job for many more years.
Instead, she became known as the “Maybot” thanks to her robotic delivery of speeches and failure to communicate effectively with the electorate and even her own cabinet colleagues.
It’s a shame, because women in particular will know the sacrifices she has made in becoming only the second female Prime Minister in an arena still dominated by machismo.
But in the end, it wasn’t enough.
CommentJEREMY CLARKSON Even Boeing couldn’t beat three-time Formula One king Niki Lauda CommentTHE SUN SAYS Theresa May’s best just wasn’t enough — she was the author of her own downfall CommentJAMES FORSYTH Next PM needs to have a Brexit plan and know what they want to get out of EU CommentLORRAINE KELLY Daft Eurovision bias against UK is NOT funny — should we spare ourselves? CommentROD LIDDLE Brexit’s been betrayed by the snarling duds of May — so go & vote Farage today
You need imagination and breadth of vision to lead the country through Brexit and sadly Ms May had neither.
So yes, I’m sorry to see her obvious distress.
But I’m not sorry to see her go.
SWNS:South West News Service Only the hardest of hearts could fail to feel sorry for her as she gave the emotional speech
Theresa May in tears as she confirms she is standing down as leader of the Conservative Party