She tried her best to hold it together. But in the end it was all too much. Officially, the Prime Minister resigned yesterday morning at 10.05am.
But those watching her announcement will have realised that it was actually an eviction that had been set in motion many weeks ago.
To many on her own side, she had already long outstayed her welcome. For Theresa May, it was never meant to turn out this way.
In her mind, she wanted to be the person who would unite her party, free Britain from the shackles of Brussels and lead us all into a sparkling future.
Theresa May tried her best to hold it together. But in the end it was all too much. Officially, the Prime Minister resigned Friday morning at 10.05am. Those watching her announcement will have realised that it was actually an eviction that had been set in motion many weeks ago
As her ultra-loyal husband Philip watched nearby, he must have thought back to that July day in 2016 when she stood on the same spot at the start of her premiership. Then, it was a much more euphoric and optimistic day as she spoke about helping families who were ‘just about managing’.
So many ideas and plans she had. All that focus. A lifelong ambition fulfilled.
Yesterday, though, it all ended in tears.
Despite the trauma of that awful confidence vote which could have toppled her in December, all those Commons humiliations and those ultimately pointless trips to Brussels, she has been almost maniacal in her refusal to budge.
Yesterday, it was left to the little-known head of the 1922 Committee of backbench Conservative MPs, former London PR man Sir Graham Brady, to go through that world-famous black door with a clear instruction for Mrs May: It was time to go.
Until the tearful finale, 62-year-old Mrs May’s resignation speech had been a mirror image of her term in office. Rigid. Reticent. Unremarkable.
She had allowed herself some rare words of reflection. Suddenly, the realisation kicked in: Her premiership and all those best laid plans had foundered.
‘I will shortly leave the job that it has been the honour of my life to hold...’
To many on her own side, she had already long outstayed her welcome. For Theresa May, it was never meant to turn out this way
Once those words emerged from her mouth, the voice began to judder. She strained her larynx like a rickety fiddle – but the tap had been turned.
‘The second female prime minister. But certainly not the last. I do so with no ill-will, but with enormous and enduring gratitude to have had the opportunity to serve the country I lo-..’
And with that, she temporarily broke down. For those of us standing in front of her, it was an extraordinary – albeit brief – moment.
Since taking the top job, Mrs May has ceded