British Prime Minister David Cameron emerged from 10 Downing Street on Friday morning to accept the results of the Brexit referendum — and to account that he will resign his post by the Conservative Party conference in October.
Cameron congratulated his allies in the “Remain” campaign, as well as the victorious “Leave” campaign, which won the referendum on Britain’s European Union Membership by a poll-defying 4 percentage points on Thursday.
He then declared that he believed the country needed new leadership in the negotiations to come. After an interim period of three months, Cameron said, he would step down as prime minister.
“This is not a decision I’ve taken lightly, but I do believe it’s in the national interest to have a period of stability, and then the new leadership required.”
On Thursday, Boris Johnson — widely seen as a potential successor to Cameron — had indicated that he wanted Cameron to stay in office. However, Cameron decided that he no longer had a mandate to lead the country.
In his announcement, Cameron spoke of his love for Britain, his pride in the achievements of his administration — including fulfilling the promise to hold the EU referendum — and his intention to help his successor.
Throughout, he retained an upbeat tone — with the exception of one slight tremble in his voice.
The BBC political commentators reacting to Cameron’s analysis were less than impressed: “His political career has ended in absolute chaos and misery,” one said.
Yet the gesture will certainly impress observers abroad — both for its humility, and for its effort to help Britain through whatever instability lies ahead in Brexit’s wake.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. His new book, See No Evil: 19 Hard Truths the Left Can’t Handle, will be published by Regnery on July 25 and is available for pre-order through Amazon. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.