London:A leading contender in the race for Britain's new prime minister, Andrea Leadsom has apologised to her Conservative Party rival Theresa May over comments in which she said being a mother made her a better candidate than May, who has no children. “I absolutely said, what I specifically said, is that motherhood should not play a part in the campaign,” Leadsom told The Telegraph on Sunday. “I was pressed to say how my children had formed my views. I didn’t want it to be used as an issue. Having children has no bearing on the ability to be a Prime Minister. I deeply regret that anyone has got the impression that I think otherwise,” the 53-year-old Energy Minister added. The row began after Leadsom told the Times daily on Friday that as a mother she had the “edge” over the childless Home Minister Theresa May, 59, in the race to become the premier. The party on July 7, elected May and Leadsom as the final candidates to become Britain's next Prime Minister replacing David Cameron. For the second time in Britain's history, the next Prime Minister is set to be female when the winning candidate is appointed as head of government on September 9. Cameron announced his resignation on June 24 after Britain's referendum decision to leave the European Union. May obtained 199 votes, while Leadsom got 84. According to BBC, aides to May have confirmed the home secretary was "grateful" for the apology message and texted her thanks. Leadsom added that the Times article "said completely the opposite of what I said and believe" and that the criticism she faced since left her feeling "under attack, under enormous pressure - it has been shattering".