Ex-British PM Pulls Surprise, Quits Politics

David Cameron says he doesn't want to be a distraction to new PM's government
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 12, 2016 11:28 AM CDT
Ex-British PM Pulls Surprise, Quits Politics
In this July 13, 2016, file photo, former British Prime Minister David Cameron speaks to the media as he leaves 10 Downing Street in London after formally resigning as prime minister.   (Frank Augstein)

Former Prime Minister David Cameron is standing down from his position in Parliament because he doesn't want to be a distraction to the new government headed by Theresa May. Cameron's unexpected announcement Monday will trigger a by-election for his seat in Oxfordshire, the AP reports. Cameron had earlier resigned as prime minister after failing to convince British voters in June to remain in the European Union. He said at the time he planned to remain in Parliament, although he'd no longer have a leadership role in the Conservative Party. He was replaced as prime minister in July by May, who is overseeing the process to remove Britain from the 28-nation EU.

Cameron said he no longer thinks it's possible for a former prime minister to serve as a "back bencher" without distracting attention from the government. He said May is off to "a great start" and is well positioned to lead Britain. Cameron promised to support the Conservative Party candidate chosen to replace him in the by-election that will be held in order to fill the vacancy (it wasn't immediately clear when the by-election for his seat would take place). Cameron had won re-election in 2015, but his position became untenable after losing the EU vote on June 23. He did not announce his future plans. (Read more David Cameron stories.)

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