David Cameron Resigns As Witney MP: Former UK Prime Minister David Cameron has stepped down as MP for Witney, triggering a by-election in the Oxfordshire seat.
The 49-year-old, who resigned as prime minister after June’s EU referendum, told the chairman of his Conservative Association and constituency agent before making the announcement.
In his speech, he stated that he did not want to be a “distraction” for new PM Theresa May, The Guardian reports.
Mr Cameron’s decision comes two months after he quit as Prime Minister on July 13 in the wake of defeat in the EU referendum.
Here is the statement David Cameron gave to ITV’s Chris Ship announcing his resignation as an MP.
I have thought about this log and hard over the summer and I have decided the right thing to do is to stand down as the member of parliament for Witney. There will be a byelection. I will give the Conservative candidate my full support.
But in my view, with modern politics, with the circumstances of my resignation it isn’t really possible to be a proper backbench MP as a former prime minister. I think everything you do will become a big distraction and a big diversion from what the government needs to do for our country. And I support Theresa May. I think she’s got off to a great start. I think she can be a strong prime minister for our country. And I don’t want to be that distraction. I want Witney to have a new MP who can play a full part in parliamentary and political life without being a distraction.
I want to thank everybody here in West Oxfordshire who has been so supportive. It has been a great honour and privilege to serve this area and to serve these brilliant people. I’m going to go on living locally. I will go on supporting the local causes and charities that make this such a great place in our country. But obviously I’m going to have to start to build a life outside Westminster. I hope I’ll continue to contribute in terms of public service and of course contribute to this country that I love so much.
Reacting to suggestions that he could be accused of snubbing Theresa May with his statement, he said Mrs May – his former home secretary – had been “very understanding” when he told her of his decision, saying she had “got off to a cracking start” as prime minister.
His words: I spoke to Theresa May and she was very understanding about this decision. I support her. I support what she’s doing. She’s got off to a cracking start. Obviously I’m going to have my own views about different issues; people would know that. And that’s really the point. As a former prime minister it is very difficult, I think, to sit as a backbencher and not be an enormous diversion and distraction from what the government is doing. I don’t want to be that distraction. I want Witney to have an MP that can play a full role in parliamentary and political life in a way that I think I would find very difficult, if not impossible.