BRITISH Prime Minister David Cameron has announced that he will step down before the autumn following the UK’s decision to leave the European Union.
He made the announcement in an emotional statement outside Number 10 with his wife, Samantha, standing by him after the final results had been disclosed, saying he will attempt to “steady the ship” in the short term.
Cameron had been campaigning tirelessly for Britain to remain part of Europe, but Leave won by 52 per cent to 48 per cent, leaving his position untenable.
The outgoing government head said that he is proud of his achievements as prime minister, and that he is a firm believer in confronting, rather than ducking, the big decisions.
He stressed that the referendum was not about him, but that he followed it with head and heart, and now that the nation has decided to follow a different route via the “great democratic exercise,” then it would not be right for him to remain as “captain of the ship.”
Cameron also confirmed that he has spoken to the Queen regarding his decision, but will not yet trigger article 50, the Lisbon treaty clause that will begin the two-year withdrawal process from the EU.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is also under intense pressure after also backing remain, while SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has already raised the possibility of a second Scottish independence referendum.
The pound has nose-dived to its lowest level since 1985 as traders panicked at the news, leading to a stock market slump of eight per cent within minutes of opening, amid predictions of further market turmoil as almost €160 billion was wiped off the FTSE 100.