Fresh leadership by October conference, PM says
PRIME MINISTER David Cameron has announced his resignation this morning after losing his campaign to keep the UK in the European Union.
Speaking on the steps of Downing Street, Cameron said it was time for “fresh leadership” and promised to hand over to a new leader by October, at the time of the Conservative party conference.
Cameron said: “This is not a decision I have taken lightly, but I do beleive it is in the national interest to have a period of stability and then new leadership is required”.
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The result of the EU referendum was anounced early this morning, with 52 per cent having voted to Leave compared to 48 per cent for Remain. Turnout was 71.8 per cent. The result had been widely expected to be a Remain.
UKIP leader Nigel Farage celebrated the result at 4am, making a speech in which he said his campaign had won “without having to fight, without a single bullet being fired”.
Green Party MP Caroline Lucas commented: “David Cameron was right to announce his resignation this morning – and indicate that Article 50 will be invoked by the next prime minister. The country needs a period of calm over the next few months to lessen the economic impact of Brexit on working people up and down the country.”
“Progressives must not now fight amongst ourselves. We must unite to challenge any planned post-Brexit austerity or bonfire of environmental and workers' rights. To engage in inter-party squabbling while our constituents suffer would be criminal.”
Former Labour cabinet minister Peter Mandelson said he felt Cameron’s resignation would be followed by a rightward shift. “The right wing now have the upper hand and that's the direction in which the Conservative Party are going to go”, Mandelson told the BBC.
Pictures courtesy of Number 10
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