1. ITV Report

'She really tried': Public defend Theresa May who 'was let down by her party'

  • Video report by ITV News Correspondent Damon Green

She may have lost the confidence of her party but in the eyes of some members of the public, Theresa May did not fail the country.

Residents in North Yorkshire believe Mrs May was let down by her cabinet and Tory MPs who seemed intent on ousting her but she did not help herself by failing to deliver on Brexit.

The Prime Minister made an emotional resignation speech outside 10 Downing Street on Friday morning and became visibly upset and tearful as her words came to an end.

She said it had been ''the honour'' of her life to serve ''the country that I love'' as she revealed her departure date of June 7.

In Skipton, North Yorkshire, a traditional Tory voting heartland, there was some sympathy for Mrs May but also little surprise at her decision to go.

An emotional Theresa May outside 10 Downing Street on Friday. Credit: PA
Members of the public in Skipton, North Yorkshire who have sympathy for Theresa May. Credit: ITV

One member of the public told ITV News: ''I think she should have been stronger but to us as laymen, she's not had the backing of the government.

''They've fought her at every single point.''

Many Conservative supporters voted for Brexit and many believe this was Mrs May's undoing.

Another member of the public said: ''You do feel for her but she put herself in that position to me.''

While another added: ''She's broken all her promises. I think she has to go. Maybe get Boris in.''

It has been more than 100 years since the residents of leafy, affluent Skipton voted anything other than Conservative.

But at the recent town council elections, seven of its Tory councillors lost their seats - and they blame Mrs May and the shenanigans in Westminster.

James Stafford, local Conservative member. Credit: ITV News

James Stafford, local Conservative member, said: ''We've basically taken the flack - this has been seen across the country. The flack for what's going on in Westminster.''

Referring to the potential runners and riders in the race to be elected Prime Minister, he added: ''It's not just about saying what they can offer the Conservative party, it's about what can they offer the entire nation. What can they also offer to the people who aren't even natural Tory voters?''

Elsewhere out in the country that Mrs May was - or is - so proud to serve, public reaction has been as divided over her as it has been over Brexit.

Among the grassroots of Gloucester, a leave-voting town with a Remain-supporting MP, the views our National Editor heard on Friday ranged from acknowledging her bad luck to good riddance.