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Former British prime minister Cameron quits politics

(FILES) This file photo taken on December 12, 2011 shows  British Prime Minister David Cameron waits for the arrival of Bahrain's King Hamad bin Issa al-Khalifa at his official residence 10 Downing Street in London. Britain's former prime minister David Cameron has resigned his seat in the House of Commons, he told broadcaster ITV in an interview on September 12, 2016. Cameron stepped down as prime minister in June 2016, hours after Britain voted to leave the European Union in a referendum in which he had campaigned to stay in the bloc. / AFP PHOTO / Leon Neal

(FILES) This file photo taken on December 12, 2011 shows<br />British Prime Minister David Cameron waits for the arrival of Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Issa al-Khalifa at his official residence 10 Downing Street in London.<br />Britain’s former prime minister David Cameron has resigned his seat in the House of Commons, he told broadcaster ITV in an interview on September 12, 2016. Cameron stepped down as prime minister in June 2016, hours after Britain voted to leave the European Union in a referendum in which he had campaigned to stay in the bloc. / AFP PHOTO / Leon Neal

Britain’s former prime minister David Cameron resigned his seat in the House of Commons on Monday, less than three months after losing an EU referendum in which he had campaigned to stay in the bloc.

Cameron stepped down as prime minister in June, hours after Britain’s dramatic vote to leave the European Union (EU), handing power to his successor Theresa May in July.

“The circumstances of my resignation as prime minister and the realities of modern politics make it very difficult to continue (in parliament)… without the risk of becoming a diversion,” Cameron said in a statement.

“I fully support Theresa May and have every confidence that Britain will thrive under her strong leadership,” the 49-year-old added.

The former premier was pilloried after the shock referendum defeat.

Critics accused him of recklessness in holding the vote in the first place and mismanaging the Remain campaign in the face of anti-EU populism.

His decision to stage the referendum was seen in Westminster as a bid to placate eurosceptic opponents in the centre-right Conservative Party.

His resignation from parliament is unusually quick — former prime ministers have typically retained their seats for a number of years after leaving office.

Cameron denied it was linked to May’s decision last week to let state-funded schools reintroduce selection by academic ability, a controversial move he opposed during his six years in office.

“This decision has got nothing to do with any one individual issue and that way the timing I promise is coincidental,” he told broadcaster ITV in an interview.

“Obviously I have my own views about certain issues. People know that. That’s really the point. As a former PM it’s very difficult to sit as a backbencher and not be an enormous diversion and distraction from what the government is doing,” he said.

May wished Cameron well for the future in a brief statement on Facebook.

“I was proud to serve in David Cameron’s government — and under his leadership we achieved great things,” the former interior minister wrote.

– ‘A life outside Westminster’ –
The suave Eton-educated Cameron has been MP for Witney in the rural county of Oxfordshire, northwest of London, since 2001.

At the time of his resignation as premier, he insisted he was “keen to continue” as a constituency MP and intended to seek re-election at the next general election, due in 2020.

He is not known to have taken on any other roles since stepping down. His media appearances since have been in pictures of him holidaying with his family.

“Obviously I’m going to have to start to build a life outside Westminster,” he told ITV.

“I’m only 49 and I hope I can still contribute in terms of public service and contribute to our country,” he said.

Cameron’s decision was welcomed by allies.

His former finance minister and right hand man George Osborne, who was excluded from the cabinet by May, called it a “sad day” on Twitter.

“I know how difficult this decision has been for him,” Osborne said.

Former foreign secretary William Hague added it was the “right decision”, writing: “Former Prime Ministers are either accused of doing too little or being a distraction.”

Boris Johnson — the current foreign secretary who played an instrumental role in the Leave campaign — praised Cameron on Twitter: “Sad to see @David_Cameron standing down:modernising Tory party – delivered sustained economic recovery – incredible record of public service.”

Angela Eagle, a senior lawmaker in the main opposition Labour party, told the BBC that Cameron had “put his whole country at risk to settle a debate in his own party” through the EU referendum.

“He has now walked away leaving others to clear up the mess,” she added.

The pro-Brexit Daily Mail newspaper reported the resignation as “The Crushing of David Cameron” on its front page, saying his legacy was in ruins.

Despite Cameron’s denial he quit in response to May’s school reform, The Times said the former prime minister wants the freedom to speak out on the matter.

The Daily Telegraph, popular among Conservative voters, said Cameron quit “to avoid split with May”.

Cameron’s decision to resign triggers an obscure parliamentary procedure, because lawmakers are technically not able to resign.

He was named as Crown Steward and Bailiff of the Manor of Northstead and a by-election to pick his successor will be held.



3 Comments
  • Osgg Nigeria

    This is integrity personified. A complete selfless gentleman. I pray almighty God will grant Nigeria some leaders with this kind of leadership character and values. say amen

  • Efeturi Ojakaminor

    Cameron could quit politics because he knows his worth. For him, politics is not the only profession. Do we have people like that in our polity?

  • Kenny

    At 49, David Cameron has finished his tenure as PM of modern Britain; 49 years old! And he chose to leave government by resigning as Prime Minister and finally as MP. Can someone tell me the difference between Nigeria and Britain? In Britain public office is a call to serve; it is not a tool for rapacious accumulation and movement to “Baba” status. That is why any Minister or MP or even the Prime Minister can leave when he chooses to…he is not concerned about the fleet of presidential jets that would be at his beck and call while in service. The system does not allows such madness! The British PM cannot decree allocation of state funds to an area or group/tribe/ he cherishes…he does not have the power to appropriate state resources according to his whims and caprices.

    Some of the people who are still parading themselves as Nigeria’s leaders were already “leading” this country when David Cameron was born. They are using nineteenth century ideas to lead a country in the 21st century. And anyone wonders the difference again?

    Until we change the structure of the Nigerian state to emphasize the government belongs to the people; not to whoever that occupies the seat of power, it would be difficult to achieve meaningful development. The “do or die” politics that defines Nigeria and most of Africa is because the scandalous levels of privileges that accrue to holding public office. No modern society can succeed when a few legislators; about 500 persons in a country of over 180 million people control about a quarter of the total budget. It is just troubling how Nigerians have allowed this type of madness to define our politics. Development cannot come when the institutions of the state excludes the general population. The role of government is not serve the President, his cabinet, legislators or other top government officials. The primary role of the modern state is to protect and promote the welfare of the ordinary citizens. Until ALL of government’s actions and programs are directed principally to promote citizens’ welfare (everyone, not people from one section of the country or the other), Nigeria will continue its circular movement from nowhere to nowhere!

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