|The Camerons in Downing Street|
David Cameron broke Britain, he has paid the price.
At 08:20am the Prime Minister stepped out of Ten Downing Street for the last time with the full authority of his office.
Flanked by his wife Samantha, who stood at distance with her face displaying all the emotion her husband was bottling up, he announced his resignation.
He looked like man who bust the bank in Monte Carlo.
Cameron took a huge gamble with the country against his Etonian pal Boris Johnson and had to admit he had lost.
So he sparked the leadership contest that could see Johnson take his place.
“The country requires fresh leadership to take it in this direction,” said Cameron with his voice beginning to crack with emotion.
“I will do everything I can as Prime Minister to steady the ship over the coming weeks and months, but I don’t think it would be right for me to try to be the captain that steers our country to its next destination.”
He reminded us of his considerable achievements, a coalition, a majority and more. But he will go down as the most calamitous Prime Minister since Anthony Eden sent British troops to the Suez canal.
He will be there, as a paper Prime Minister for the summer, humiliatingly attending the EU summit next week, but a new Tory leader will be in place by October.
Cameron said he accepted the decision of the voters but would leave it to his successor to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which kicks off the two-year process of negotiating a new trade relationship with the UK’s former partners.
“The British people have voted to leave the European Union and their will must be respected,” he said.
“The will of the British people is an instruction that must be delivered.” He also emphasised that Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish governments would be involved in talks.
The Prime Minister spoke to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon earlier in the morning.
It was said to be a “sympathetic” conversation. She knows what it feels like to lose a referendum.