British Jews thanked Prime Minister Theresa May for being a “true friend” to their community following her announcement that she is stepping down.
May on Friday announced that she will step down as Conservative leader on June 7 after failing to convince lawmakers to support her Brexit deal.
Board of Deputies of British Jews President Marie van der Zyl wrote in a statement: “We sincerely thank Theresa May for being a true friend to the Jewish community during her time in office.”
May said in a statement outside her Downing Street residence: “It is and will always remain a matter of deep regret to me that I have not been able to deliver Brexit.”
The departure of May, who will become one of Britain’s shortest-serving post-WWII prime ministers, follows a fresh revolt to her latest Brexit plan this week among cabinet colleagues and lawmakers.
A member of the Conservative Party is expected to succeed her.
May has been criticized by supporters of the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union for elements in her deal for the divorce that they say compromises British sovereignty.
Focusing on May’s record on issues close to the heart of British Jews specifically, van der Zyl wrote recalled that her “government has adopted the IHRA definition of antisemitism; marked the Balfour Centenary with pride; banned terror organization Hezbollah; increased security funding,” opposed “anti-Israel bias at the UN Human Rights Council,” among other policies,
British Jews, van der Zyl added, “will always appreciate her friendship and support.”
The Conservative Friends of Israel, a parliamentary group, hailed May as a “steadfast supporter” of the Jewish state and “a champion” of British Jewry.
“Theresa May has fiercely fought anti-Jewish racism and it is thanks to her that the community has received record levels of financial support for its security at this difficult time,” the group’s parliamentary chairmen said in a statement.
“Under her leadership, the UK-Israel relationship has gone from strength to strength with record bilateral trade, the much anticipated first ever official visit to Israel by a member of the Royal Family took place, and the Hezbollah terror group was proscribed,” the statement added.