After six years in power, British Prime Minister David Cameron stepped down on Wednesday, making way for Home Secretary Theresa May to succeed him as the second female leader in the country's history, CNN reports.
May was named Cameron's successor as Conservative Party leader on Monday and will officially take on the role after Cameron meets with Queen Elizabeth II to offer his resignation. Cameron announced he would step down after the UK decided to leave the EU in a controversial vote. At the time he said the country needed "fresh leadership."
Earlier Wednesday, Cameron made his final appearance before Parliament where he received a standing ovation from conservative MPs. The mood was light and Cameron joked about how he was sad to leave the house cat at 10 Downing Street and the divisive political climate.
"I have addressed 5,500 questions from this dispatch box––I'll leave it to others to decide how many I've answered," he said. "I will miss the roar of the crowd, I will miss the barbs of the opposition, but I will be willing you on."
Throughout the day, supportive MPs tweeted about his resignation.
Grabbing a bit of lunch watching what I hoped would never happen. The best PM we've had leaving before his time. pic.twitter.com/KcZgxTezTQ— Johnny Mercer MP (@JohnnyMercerMP) July 13, 2016
David Cameron has been a great PM. Lovely statement outside No.10, especially praise for his wife and family. I wish him well for the future— Will Quince MP (@willquince) July 13, 2016
David Cameron has provided the country and the party with strong leadership and I would like to thank him for his service— Stephen Hammond MP (@S_Hammond) July 13, 2016
Cameron gave a short speech as he left the Downing Street office for the last time. During the speech, he thanked his family and political advisers for their support over the years. He also recounted some of his proudest accomplishments in office and said the UK's economy is "immeasurably stronger" than it was when he took office in 2010.
It's been a privilege to serve the country that I love.— David Cameron (@David_Cameron) July 13, 2016
May will meet with Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace to formally take office later Wednesday. The new Prime Minister has stressed the need to unite the country as it leaves the EU and May has promised to "make Brexit a success" through a variety of measures.
"First, the need for strong, proven leadership to steer us through what will be difficult and uncertain economic and political times, the need, of course, to negotiate the best deal for Britain in leaving the EU, and to forge a new role for ourselves in the world," she said. "Second, we are going to unite our country and, third, we need a strong, new positive vision for the future of our country, a vision of a country that works not for the privileged few, but that works for every one of us."
To get started on these goals she will have to quickly appoint a cabinet and begin to negotiate the terms and treaties affected by Britain's historic EU withdrawal.