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David Cameron under increasing pressure to resign over Brexit

Nigel Farage said the Prime Minister should resign 'immediately'

Charlie Cooper
Whitehall Correspondent
Friday 24 June 2016 06:14 BST
There was speculation about David Cameron's future
There was speculation about David Cameron's future (Getty Images)

David Cameron’s immediate future as Prime Minister has been cast into doubt as Britain awoke on Friday morning to a historic vote for Brexit.

A jubilant Nigel Farage said Mr Cameron should resign “immediately”, while Labour also said that he should “consider his position”.

Having called the referendum and backed a Remain vote, the likely Leave vote represents an enormous blow to Mr Cameron’s authority. With 28 areas still to declare, Leave held 51.9 per cent of the vote in the early hours of Friday, with the BBC, ITV and Sky all calling the result for Leave.

Nigel Farage: 'Let today be our independence day'

More than 80 Conservative MPs have signed a letter, sent to Mr Cameron last night, calling on him to stay on regardless of the result. However, the shock of Leave’s victory, which sent the pound plummeting to lows not seen since 1985, has renewed calls for the Prime Minister’s resignation.

Mr Farage was among the first to call for him to go, while Labour’s Shadow Foreign Secretary Hilary Benn, said he could not see how Mr Cameron stayed Downing Street “for very long at all”.

“If you are the Prime Minister, you’ve called this referendum, you’ve laid your reputation on the line and your arguments, I think it’s going to be very hard.”

Former Downing Street aide Andy Coulson, meanwhile, told ITV that he suspected Mr Cameron would be “pondering” his position.

“There are a large number of people urging him to stay, pointing out that what we need now is leadership and, to coin a phrase, it is no time for a novice...But I suspect David Cameron is now pondering the possibility of stepping down.”

UKIP MP Douglas Carswell criticised his party leader’s call for Mr Cameron to resign, saying that the “less we hear from Nigel in the next few weeks and months the better”.

“This is really serious stuff here…we need to grow up a little bit and make sure we’re talking about the national interest. David Cameron is Prime Minister, David Cameron will remain Prime Minister, David Cameron won a mandate a year ago, he has a duty to remain in Downing Street and oversee this and make it happen.”

Brexit-supporting Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen also said it would not be in the interest of the country for Mr Cameron to resign on Friday morning.

“Given all the volatility at the moment I think we can give the Prime Minister a little breathing space,” he told BBC Radio 4.

“Short term he is going to need to get a grip, reshuffle his cabinet and address the pressing issues of Scotland, Northern Ireland and the financial markets, where there is going to be some short-term volatility.

“That will depend on how long it takes to stabilise the situation and move forward. He has politically exposed himself immensely in this campaign. I think he has been badly advised, I think he has underestimated the level of support for leave within the parliamentary party, within the wider party and ultimately within the country.

“I wish the Prime Minister had stayed above this and been a little more impartial.”

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