Former British prime minister David Cameron has stepped down as the Member of Parliament from his Oxfordshire seat of Witney in order to not be a “distraction” for his successor Theresa May.
Cameron, 49, resigned as the prime minister after the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union in a referendum early June. As a leader of the “remain” camp, he had urged the citizens to vote to remain within the union. Following the resignation, fellow Conservative May took office, with the task of facilitating a breakaway from the EU.
“I support Theresa May. I think she’s got off to a great start. I think she could be a strong prime minister for our country ... I wish her well, I wish the government well,” Cameron reportedly said.
He said it had been a “great honor” to be an MP for the area, but it would be tough to remain on the benches of the House without becoming “a big distraction and a big diversion” for the new government, Cameron was quoted as saying at his constituency by BBC.
As an MP, Cameron earned 74,962 pounds ($100,000), down from his 143,462 pound salary as prime minister.
The former prime minister, however, did not say what he would do next, maintaining that he hoped to “still contribute in terms of public service and to the country.” He said he would “start to build a life outside Westminster” as “I’m only 49.”
May, who served as the home secretary under Cameron, said, “I was proud to serve in David Cameron’s government – and under his leadership we achieved great things. Not just stabilizing the economy, but also making great strides in delivering serious social reform.”
“I thank him for everything he has done for the Conservative party and the country and I wish him and his family well for the future,” May added.
Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party, wished Cameron “all the best for the future.” Corbyn also said he got on well with the former prime minister on a “human level.”
George Osborne, who served as chancellor in Cameron’s cabinet, showed regret that his “great friend” was stepping down.
Cameron's departure will trigger a byelection in his constituency, which he had represented since 2001.