David Cameron has resigned as prime minister after the British public rejected his personal entreaties and voted to leave the European Union, theguardian.com reports.

 

“The will of the British people is an instruction that must be delivered,” the prime minister said, his voice breaking with emotion, and his wife, Samantha, standing beside him in Downing Street on Friday morning.

 

Cameron promised to remain in post until the autumn, to “steady the ship”, but said: “I do not think it would be right for me to be the captain who steers the country to its next destination.”

 

He said he had already spoken to the Queen to make his plans clear; but would not yet trigger article 50, the clause in the Lisbon treaty that kicks off the two-year process of withdrawal from the EU.

 

His dramatic announcement came after a sharp fall in the pound and as £128bn was wiped off the FTSE 100.

 

Cameron said: “I am honoured to have been prime minister of this country for six years.”

 

Earlier on Friday, Nigel Farage, the Ukip leader, became the first party leader to call for Cameron to go, saying Britain needed a “Brexit prime minister”.

 

Cameron’s team in Downing Street were shocked and distraught by the narrow win for leave, with 52% of the vote, after polls had suggested a move towards a comfortable margin for remain in the final few days of campaigning.

 

Photo: www.wsj.com

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