After May's resignation, nation's leaders 'must focus on what unites us'

Theresa May was unable to get her Brexit proposals past MPs.Reuters

The Church of England bishop charged with coordinating the work of the Lords Spiritual in Parliament has called for political leaders to work on unity following Theresa May's resignation announcement.

Mrs May confirmed on Friday that she would be stepping down as Prime Minister on June 7 after three stormy years in Downing Street during which time she tried and failed successive times to win MPs round to her Brexit deal. 

The Rt Rev David Urquhart, Bishop of Birmingham and Convenor of the Lords Spiritual, said the Prime Minister's resignation was a reminder of the "importance of compromise".

He said the biggest task facing the next Prime Minister was to unite the nation after years of turmoil, division and uncertainty over Brexit. 

"Theresa May has given dedicated and committed public service to the country during very difficult times. I wish her and Philip well as they prepare for life beyond Downing Street," he said.

"I am especially grateful to the Prime Minister for the priority she has given during her time in Government to addressing the evils of modern slavery, and for a focus on global freedom of religion and belief."

He continued: "Now more than ever we need political leaders and Parliament to focus on what unites us, especially when it comes to a way forward with Brexit.

"That will be the biggest task facing our next Prime Minister. My hopes and prayers are for an orderly transition and for all those who continue to give themselves to public service in national and local life."