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David Cameron Prepares To Hand Over To Theresa May

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Posted: Jul 13, 2016 at 1:15 pm   /   by   /   comments (1)

David Cameron will leave Downing Street for the final time as PM later, with Theresa May waiting to replace him.

Mr Cameron has been taking part in his final Prime Minister’s Questions, before heading to Buckingham Palace to tender his resignation to the Queen.

He told MPs his time in power had been “amazing” and joked that apart from his royal audience his “diary for the rest of the afternoon is remarkably light”.

After taking office, Mrs May will set about naming her own frontbench team.

The current home secretary, 59, was the only remaining candidate in the Conservative leadership contest following Andrea Leadsom’s withdrawal on Monday.

The contest began when Mr Cameron, who has been prime minister since 2010, announced he would step down after losing the EU referendum in June.

During a generally light-hearted and jocular session of Prime Minister’s Questions, his 182nd as PM – Mr Cameron said he had answered 5,500 questions at the despatch box.

Defending his economic, social and foreign affairs legacy, Mr Cameron said there had been “many amazing moments” over the past six years of “public service in the national interest”.

Mr Cameron “warmly congratulated” Theresa May, who sat next to him during the session, on her election and told Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn that “when it came to female prime ministers I am glad to say the score will soon be two-nil”.

Mr Corbyn said that although he had often disagreed with the PM, he thanked him for his service over the last six years and praised him for his backing for equal marriage and his efforts to secure the release of Shaker Aamer from Guantanamo Bay.

The Labour leader also paid tribute to Mr Cameron’s wife Samantha and his family, who watched the proceedings from the public gallery. His daughters Nancy and Florence were seen to give their father a wave and cheer him on during the session.

Earlier, Mr Cameron told the Telegraph he came into Downing Street to “lead people through difficult decisions so together we could reach better times”, adding “as I leave today, I hope people will see a stronger country, a thriving economy, and more chances to get on in life.”

Later, after saying goodbye to staff at Downing Street, the PM will tender his resignation to the Queen,

The BBC’s Royal Correspondent Nicholas Witchell said the private audience was likely to be a short one, potentially about twenty minutes.

Soon after, Mrs May will then make her own way to Buckingham Palace, accompanied by her husband Philip, when she will be asked to accept the monarch’s offer to form a new government.

BBC correspondent said Queen Elizabeth was likely to ask the new PM, who will be the 13th leader of her reign, about her “intentions and programme” for government.

Mrs May will then return to No 10 as the country’s second female prime minister, following in the footsteps of Margaret Thatcher.

She is expected to briefly address the nation before meeting top officials, including Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heyward, and receiving a full national security and defence briefing.

She will be asked to hand-write letters to the commanders of the UK’s four Trident submarines about what to do in the event of a catastrophic nuclear attack on the UK and to appoint two nuclear “deputies” – ministers who will take decisions on the deterrent if she has been rendered incapable.

She is also expected to take calls from a number of foreign leaders. Later on Wednesday, she will get down to the work of putting together her government – with key appointments set to be announced within hours.


Comments (1)

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