The UK’s former Prime Minister David Cameron has said he will resign as an MP – triggering a byelection.
David Cameron has announced his resignation as MP for Witney – months after stepping down as PM following the UK’s decision to leave the EU.
Mr Cameron said that he had informed Theresa May of his decision this afternoon and she was “very understanding”.
“In my view, with modern politics, with the circumstances of my resignation it isn’t really possible to be a proper backbench MP as a former prime minister,” he told ITV.
“I think everything you do will become a big distraction and a big diversion from what the government needs to do for our country.
“I have thought about this long and hard over the summer and I have decided the right thing to do is to stand down as the member of parliament for Witney,” he revealed.
“There will be a byelection. I will give the Conservative candidate my full support.”
Mr Cameron initially said he would continue as an MP until the next general election after stepping down as PM in June.
He has represented Witney since 2001, becoming Conservative leader in 2005 and serving as prime minister for six years from 2010, before being replaced by Theresa May earlier this year.
Following his decision to step down as PM following Brexit, Mr Cameron said: “I am very proud and very honoured to have been Prime Minister for six years.
“I believe we’ve made great steps… building a bigger and stronger society, and enabling those who love each other to get married, whatever their sexuality.”
The former Prime Minister has frequently cited same-sex marriage as his proudest achievement.
Writing for PinkNews previously, he said: “The introduction of same-sex civil marriage says something about the sort of country we are. It says we are a country that will continue to honour its proud traditions of respect, tolerance and equal worth.
“It also sends a powerful message to young people growing up who are uncertain about their sexuality. It clearly says ‘you are equal’ whether straight or gay.
“That is so important in trying to create an environment where people are no longer bullied because of their sexuality – and where they can realise their potential, whether as a great mathematician like Alan Turing, a star of stage and screen like Sir Ian McKellen or a wonderful journalist and presenter like Clare Balding.”