LONDON — Britain’s next prime minister almost certainly will be a woman.

That became clear Thursday when members of the ruling Conservative Party chose Home Secretary Theresa May and Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom as the final two candidates in the race to succeed Prime Minister David Cameron, who announced his resignation after the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union.

The winner would become the U.K.’s first female prime minister since Margaret Thatcher, known as the “Iron Lady” governed from 1979 to 1990.

Justice Secretary Michael Gove was eliminated in the contest to replace Cameron, who announced he will stand down by October.

May, the favorite for the role, won the first round of voting Tuesday, backed by half of the party’s lawmakers. Work and Pensions Secretary Stephen Crabb dropped out of the race and former Defense Secretary Liam Fox was eliminated.

Cameron announced he will step down after the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union in a referendum on June 23. Cameron had campaigned to remain. The campaign to leave the bloc was backed by 52% of voters and 48% supported staying.

May and Leadsom will campaign around the country to win votes from party members, and the new leader will be unveiled Sept. 9. She will be the U.K.’s second female prime minister after Margaret Thatcher, who led the country between 1979 and 1990… see more

source: usatoday