Industry reacts as Theresa May quits


May 24, 2019

Theresa May has said she will quit as Tory leader on Friday 7 June with the search for her successor set to start the week after.

In her departure speech the Prime Minister said: “Our politics may be under strain but there is so much that is good about this country. So much to be proud of. So much to be optimistic about.”

She also added that it had been “the honour of my life” to be the “second female prime minister, but certainly not the last”.

Following this the industry has been quick to react.

Paresh Raja, CEO of Market Financial Solutions, said: “May’s resignation delivers a significant blow not just to the government, but the property sector at large. Our politicians have failed in their attempts to manage Brexit, and with the Tories now preparing for a leadership contest, this poses more questions than answers.

“At this critical point, what the UK now demands is the leadership and resolve to ensure that progress can be made. Failing this, businesses and investors will remain in the dark, unable to plan for the future.

“The UK is currently facing one of the country’s biggest housing challenges, and with a divided government, there is a real risk that this fundamental issue will continue to be overlooked.”

Terry Pritchard, chief executive officer of Charter HCP, said: “The resignation of Theresa May has been a long time coming and it will come of little surprise to anyone. This represents more uncertainty as it will take time to elect a new leader.

“The hope now has to be that there is a swift appointment of a new PM and that the new leader, whomever they may be, will have the ability and authority to conclude Brexit one way or the other.”

Pritchard is echoed by Jerald Solis, director of Experience Invest, who said: “Theresa May’s position as Prime Minister has been on shaky ground ever since her Brexit deal was first rejected in parliament, so while this is not a completely surprising development, it nonetheless casts further questions over the government’s ability to manage Brexit.

“I’d like to see housing included as part of the upcoming Tory leadership contest, but the unfortunate reality is that most of this campaign will be dominated by discussions on Brexit.

“At this critical juncture, our next Prime Minister must demonstrate resolve to not only deliver some kind of solution to Brexit, but also have a broader vision to address the long-term challenges facing the UK, including the housing crisis.”

Jamie Johnson, chief executive of FJP Investment, added: “Uncertainty does not bode well when it comes to implementing a financial strategy, and for nearly three years, investors have been left in the dark with little guidance from the government.

“Now, with Theresa May’s resignation, we will no doubt see some movement in financial markets as they react to this news. However, this is not a cause for concern, as there could be greater long-term benefits of today’s announcement.

“Once the markets have adjusted to the news, the government has the opportunity to use the leadership contest as a means of delivering greater certainty over Brexit. By knowing just what options are on the table, investors will be in a better position to effectively plan for the future. This means appointing a leader who can unify the Tory party and provide the leadership and guidance the country is currently calling for.”

In regards to a new leader, Boris Johnson is out at front with odds of 15/8 at the bookies. Others in the mix include Dominic Raab 6/1, David Lidington 12/1, Michael Gove 14/1, Jeremy Hunt 14/1 and Andrea Leadsom 16/1.

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