Brexit: David Cameron to resign as UK prime minister after historic Leave vote

David Cameron announces he will resignReuters

David Cameron has announced that he is to resign as prime minister of the UK, after Britain voted to split from the EU on 23 June. The Conservative leader, speaking outside Downing Street on 24 June, said it was time for "fresh leadership". The move comes after Cameron took a prominent role in the Remain campaign, a role which he said he "held nothing back".

The majority of UK voters rejected Cameron's arguments to stay inside the 28-nation-bloc, with 52% of the electorate backing a Brexit. The prime minister said he will continue in his post for the next few months, but said a new leader should be in place in time for the Conservative Party conference, which will be held in October.

Cameron added the new prime minister would take the decision as to when to trigger Article 50 and set in place the steps to leave the EU, as the world and Brussels reacts to Britain's decision to leave the economic and political union.

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"The will of the British people is an instruction that must be delivered," he declared, in an emotional address.

Cameron's decision to leave Number 10 will boost Boris Johnson's leadership chances, after the former Mayor of London led the victorious Vote Leave campaign.

Johnson and Justice Secretary Michael Gove, another Vote Leave campaigner, had previously said they wanted Cameron to stay on as prime minister in the event of a Brexit vote.

Elsewhere, Ukip leader Nigel Farage branded 24 June as "Independence Day" and told IBTimes UK that Cameron should "immediately resign". Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said he would not be stepping down, despite large numbers of his party's traditional voters backing a Brexit at the referendum.

Labour's Frank Field, the chair of the Work and Pensions Committee, said: "This is the first clear revolt against globalisation and it's undermining of working-class living standards. The major task from now on is to reassure Europe that we want our negotiations to be successful for them, but also for Great Britain.

"To that end, the government needs to be reformed to reflect accurately the views in the Tory Party in Parliament and the country, and have a negotiating team that brings the country together. Above all, we now need to think carefully about what our next moves are in disengaging from Europe. The last thing we require is precipitative action that serves no one's interests."

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