In an emotional speech outside No.10, the Prime Minister said he would “steady the ship” over the coming months, but that “fresh leadership” was needed. He added: “The British people have voted to leave the European Union and their will must be respected. The will of the British people is an instruction that must be delivered”.
Mr Cameron concluded: “I love this country and I feel honoured to have served it. I will do everything I can in future to help this great country to succeed”.
After a dramatic referendum, the UK voted to Leave the EU 52% to 48%. The final result showed 17.4 million people had voted “Leave” and 16.1 million people had voted “Remain” in the EU membership referendum. The referendum turnout was 72.2% – with more than 30 million people voting – the highest turnout at a UK-wide vote since 1992.
David Cameron is a long-standing supporter of the Jewish Community and the State of Israel.
Mr Cameron asserted: “I will always stand up for the right and obligation of Israel to defend its citizens – a right and obligation enshrined in international law, in natural justice and fundamental morality. I will never stand by when people talk of boycotting Israel or when Israel is under attack from rockets or terror tunnels. Because with me you have a Prime Minister whose belief in Israel is unbreakable and whose commitment to Israel’s security is non-negotiable”.
The PM has been steadfast in defending Israel’s right to self-defence against terror groups. Earlier this week, Mr Cameron received a standing ovation from 1,200 patrons at Jewish Care’s annual dinner after vowing to fight anti-Semitism and recalling his visit to the “homeland of the Jewish people”.
Israel’s Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan was among the first senior Israeli officials to thank the PM for his support. Mr Erdan stated: “Cameron’s resignation is sad and unfortunate, but proves just how responsible and fair he was as a leader. A real gentleman”. Mr Cameron demonstrated a “profound friendship toward Israel” as Prime Minister, added Erdan, “and recently led an important decision against the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement”.
Leader of Israel’s centrist Yesh Atid party, Yair Lapid, said: “David Cameron’s resignation is a loss for Israel. He is a true friend of Israel who stood by our side even during difficult times”.
Prime Minister Cameron has been leader of the Conservative Party for nearly 11 years. As Prime Minister between 2010 and 2016, Mr Cameron oversaw the creation of nearly two million more jobs, the halving of the budget deficit, reforms to welfare and education, the introduction of gay marriage, ensuring that Britain became the first major nation to spend 0.7% of national income on overseas aid, and the creation of 2.3 million apprenticeships.