Cameron chairs last cabinet as British PM

Cameron chairs last cabinet as British PM
July 13 06:07 2016

David Cameron chaired his final cabinet meeting on 
Tuesday after six years as Britain’s prime minister,
with incoming premier Theresa May preparing to form
a new government to deliver Brexit.
May led tributes to Cameron at the meeting, which was
described by ministers as “emotional”, and posed for
photographers on the steps of the premier’s 10
Downing Street residence afterwards.
Cameron’s end has come sooner than expected after
dramatic twists in the contest to replace him led to his
swift exit from power less than three weeks after the
nation’s seismic vote to quit the European Union.

May is already under pressure to set out a timetable
for Brexit from EU leaders who warn that a delay could
prolong damaging economic uncertainty.
”That’s what I think a lot of people expect and hope
and call for,” the European Commission’s economy
chief Pierre Moscovici said in Brussels.
Meanwhile Jean-Claude Juncker’s spokesman insisted
the European Commission chief “can cope” with
negotiations with May, who on Sunday warned he was
about to find out how “difficult” she can be.
On a visit to the headquarters of the governing centre-
right Conservative Party she now leads, May issued an
appeal for unity to push through Britain’s exit from the
EU.
”Now, more than ever, we need to work together, to
deliver on Brexit, to build a country that works for
everyone, and to truly unite our party and our country,”
she said.
She dismissed call for an early general election to
secure her own personal mandate.

“Let us redouble our efforts. And let us make sure we
put this time to good use, to build the support we need
to go to the country in four years’ time, and not just
win, but win big,” she said.
Cameron announced he would step down after leading
the failed campaign for Britain to remain in the EU, in
the June 23 referendum.
Home Secretary May, the interior minister, was
declared the new Conservative leader on Monday after
junior energy minister Andrea Leadsom, her only
remaining challenger for the post, withdrew from the
contest.

– May mulls cabinet picks -
May is facing questions on when she plans to trigger
Article 50 — the formal procedure for withdrawal from
the EU — which would set a two-year deadline for
completing exit negotiations.
While May supported Britain staying in the bloc, she
maintained a low profile during the referendum
campaign and insists she will honour the popular vote,
stressing on Monday: “Brexit means Brexit”.
Cameron was to face MPs in parliament for a final time
on Wednesday in the weekly prime minister’s questions
session, before meeting Queen Elizabeth II to tender his
resignation.
The monarch will then invite May, the leader of the
majority party in parliament, to form a fresh
government.
May, 59, will become Britain’s second female prime
minister after Conservative titan Margaret Thatcher.
As she fills the major roles in her government, May will
have to keep Leave-supporting Conservative
heavyweights onside if she is to heal the splits in the
party caused by the referendum.

One key figure who will be staying on in 10 Downing
Street is Larry the cat, the Cabinet Office confirmed.
As Cameron visited a school set up by teachers in 2012
to highlight one of the his government’s major reforms,
a van full of removal men arrived at Downing Street
who began unloading moving boxes.
On the markets, the pound rebounded against the
dollar, shooting back above $1.30 on the political
developments — although it pushed London’s FTSE 100
share index slightly down compared to Tuesday’s
opening level.

– Labour opposition in turmoil -
Meanwhile, Tuesday was proving a landmark day for
the main opposition Labour Party, whose embattled
leader Jeremy Corbyn — hugely popular with grassroots
members — is facing a leadership challenge from
Angela Eagle after losing the confidence of at least 75
percent of his MPs.
The party’s ruling National Executive Committee was in
lockdown deciding whether incumbent Corbyn needs,
like Eagle, to secure the support of 20 percent of fellow
party MPs and members of the European Parliament to
get his name on the leadership contest ballot.
The party’s rules are ambiguous, but lawyers for one
NEC member have threatened an immediate High Court
injunction if Corbyn is not automatically put on the
ballot.
Eagle urged Corbyn to “get control” of his supporters
after a brick was hurled through her office window.
Corbyn called for calm as he condemned the violence
and intimidation surrounding the leadership challenge.