UK PM David Cameron will resign after country votes to leave EU
The UK’s Prime Minister David Cameron has said he will resign – after he failed to convince Brits to remain in the European Union.
The UK narrowly voted in a referendum today to leave the EU – with 17,410,742 (51.9%) votes to leave, and just 16,141,241 (48.1%) votes for remaining.
Mr Cameron, who had fought passionately for the UK to stay in the EU, resigned this morning, saying the country must take a “different path”.
He added the country requires a “different captain to steer the ship” to drive the negotiations with the EU and devolved governments.
In his speech outside 10 Downing Street, Mr Cameron cited his legacy – including passing same-sex marriage in 2013.
He 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 eachother to get married, whatever their sexuality.”
The leader said he will remain in place while the Conservative Party selects a new leader, with a contest set to be held by the Conservative conference in October.
He said: “The British people have voted to leave the EU and their will must be respected.
“The will of the British people is an instruction that must be delivered.
“There can be no doubt about the result. Across the world people have been watching the choice that Britain has made.
“This will require strong, determined and committed leadership.
“I am very proud to have been Prime Minister of this country for six years.
“I have held nothing back, but the British people have made a very clear decision to take a different path.
“And as such I think the country requires a fresh leadership, to take it in this direction.
“I will do everything I can as Prime Minister to steady the ship over the coming weeks and months, but I do not think it would be right for me to try to be the captain that steers our country to its next destination.
“This is not a decision I have taken lightly, but I do believe it’s in the national interest to have a period of stability and then the new leadership required.
“There is no need for a precise timetable today, but in my view we should aim to have a new Prime Minister in place by the start of the Conservative Party conference in October.
“In my view I think we should have a new prime minister in place by the start of the Conservative conference in October.”
He continued: “We must now prepare for a negotiation with the European Union.
“This will need to involve the full engagement of the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland governments to ensure that the interests of all parts of our United Kingdom are protected and advanced.
“But above all this will require strong, determined and committed leadership.
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“I’m very proud and very honoured to have been Prime Minister of this country for six years.
“I believe we’ve made great steps, with more people in work than ever before in our history, with reforms to welfare and education, increasing people’s life chances, building a bigger and stronger society, keeping our promises to the poorest people in the world and enabling those who love each other to get married whatever their sexuality, but above all restoring Britain’s economic strength.”
The 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.”