UK premier to resign after Brexit vote
Cameron announces resignation by October following defeat in Brexit referendum
U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron is to resign within four months after losing the referendum on his country’s European Union membership.
Cameron said the U.K. needed “strong leadership” to conduct exit negotiations with the European Union and that he would leave office by the time of his party’s conference in October.
“I fought this campaign in the only way I know how, which is to say directly and passionately what I think and feel – head, heart and soul,” he said in a statement delivered on Friday morning outside 10 Downing Street, with his wife Samantha standing by his side.
“I held nothing back, I was absolutely clear about my belief that Britain is stronger, safer and better off inside the European Union and I made clear the referendum was about this and this alone – not the future of any single politician, including myself.
“But the British people have made a very clear decision to take a different path and as such I think the country requires fresh leadership to take it in this direction.”
Cameron said he would continue in office until his Conservative Party elected a successor to whom he would leave the decision to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty – the mechanism for leaving the EU.
Speaking at a news conference later on Friday morning, former London mayor and Brexit campaigner Boris Johnson supported Cameron’s choice to delay an Article 50 decision.
"Today, I think all of us politicians should thank the British people because in a way they have been doing our job for us,” he said.
“They hire us to deal with the hard questions and this year we gave them one of the biggest and toughest questions of all.”
He continued: “We cannot turn our backs on Europe. We are part of Europe. Our children and grandchildren will continue to have a wonderful future as Europeans travelling to the continent, understanding the languages and cultures that make up of common European civilization.
“But there is simply no need in the 21st century to be part of a federal system of government based in Brussels that is imitated nowhere else on earth. It was a noble idea for its time but it is no longer right for this country.”
Immediately after Cameron announced his resignation Johnson was installed by bookmakers Ladbrokes as favorite to succeed him.
Almost 52 percent of voters rejected their country's 43-year membership of the European Union in Thursday's referendum.