The Latest: Leadsom says business needs certainty

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The Latest on the Conservative Party leadership race in Britain (all times local):

12:25 p.m.

Andrea Leadsom, who has withdrawn from the race to be Britain's prime minister, faced a media frenzy over the weekend after comments about the role of motherhood in politics.

She said Monday that "business needs certainty" in the wake of Britain's vote to leave the European Union. The vote has unsettled the markets and sent the value of the pound plunging.

She said Britain needs a government that will "move quickly to set out what an independent United Kingdom's framework for business looks like.

"We now need a new prime minister in place as soon as possible," Leadsom said.


12:20 p.m.

Conservative lawmaker Andrea Leadsom — one of two candidates to become Britain's prime minister — has pulled out of the race.

Leadsom says she has concluded she does not have "sufficient support" to win. She says the country needs certainty, not a nine-week leadership race.

The announcement leaves Home Secretary Theresa May the only candidate standing to replace David Cameron as Conservative leader and prime minister.

The party is expected to say whether it will to re-open the contest to candidates eliminated in earlier rounds, or declare May the winner unopposed. If so, May could be prime minister within days.


12 p.m.

One of the two Conservative candidates to be British prime minister has apologized for any hurt she might have caused her rival with comments that suggested being a mother was an advantage in the job.

Andrea Leadsom said sorry to Theresa May, who has no children, amid the uproar touched off by her Times of London interview. Leadsom insisted she didn't want motherhood to be part of the campaign.

The two women are in a Conservative Party runoff to replace Prime Minister David Cameron, who is resigning after British voters rejected his advice and chose to leave the European Union in a referendum last month.

Leadsom told the Times that "I feel that being a mum means you have a very real stake in the future of our country, a tangible stake."

Leadsom later accused the newspaper of practicing "gutter journalism" and twisting her sentiments in the story, run under the headline "being a mother gives me edge on May — Leadsom."

The Times released a recording of part of the interview to show it had quoted Leadsom accurately.

Leadsom told Monday's Daily Telegraph newspaper that she believed that having children has "no bearing on the ability to be PM."

"I deeply regret that anyone has got the impression that I think otherwise," she said.

Leadsom's rivals said both her comments and her subsequent flip-flopping show the junior energy minister doesn't have the experience under pressure required to be prime minister. Her allies accused supporters of May — Britain's interior minister — of attempting to undermine Leadsom.

British politics has been thrown into turmoil by the referendum result, which has sparked leadership struggles in both the governing Conservative and main opposition Labour parties.

Labour lawmaker Angela Eagle was Monday launching an attempt to unseat party leader Jeremy Corbyn, a veteran left-winger who has a strong base of support among Labour members but little backing from the party's 229 lawmakers.

Labour legislators have passed a no-confidence motion in Corbyn, and many of his top team in Parliament resigned from their jobs to protest his leadership. He is refusing to resign and says he can win a leadership battle, which would be decided by a vote of party members.

Many Labour lawmakers believe the staunchly socialist, resolutely uncharismatic Corbyn lacks broad appeal to voters. Eagle said he "doesn't connect enough to win an election."


Associated Press writer Danica Kirka contributed to this story.