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David Cameron to step down as Britain exits EU

The British prime minister said he was ‘not the captain that steers the country’ and called for new leadership in October

Published: Updated:

British Prime Minister David Cameron says the country requires fresh leadership and that he will step down by the time of his party’s conference in October.

“I do not think it would be right for me to be the captain that steers our country to its next destination,” he told reporters outside his Downing Street office.

Britain voted to leave the European Union, results from Thursday’s referendum showed, a stunning repudiation of the nation’s elites that deals the biggest blow to the European project of greater unity since World War Two.

World financial markets plunged as complete results showed a near 52-48 percent split for leaving.

“This is perhaps that most turbulent of times that Britain is going through since the Suez Canal crisis of 1956,” President Emeritus of the Foreign Press Association Hosny Emam told Al Arabiya News Channel.

Asked who two alternative options the Conservative Party could offer to replace Cameron, Emam said it could either be former mayor Boris Johnson or UK Justice Minister Michael Gove.

“Boris Johnson, former London mayor, might be eccentric and colorful compared to the calm nature of British politics but the Brits today gravitate towards characters like him. The other option might be Justice Minister Michael Gove who has been known as the Godfather of sorts of the party and been a steady voice in staying in the EU,” Emam said.

First summit without UK

Leaders of the 27 countries remaining in the European Union will on Wednesday hold their first summit meeting on how to deal with Brexit after British prime minister has left, an EU official said.

Cameron is due to attend the first day of a scheduled two-day EU summit on Tuesday to inform the other 27 of the outcome of Thursday’s British referendum to leave the EU.

He will then return to London and the remaining leaders will confer in what will become a regular format on Brexit on Wednesday.

U.S. President Barack Obama said later on Friday that he had spoken with Cameron about Britain’s decision to leave the European Union and that he was confident the United Kingdom was committed to an orderly transition.

“While the UK’s relationship with the EU will change, one thing that will not change is special relationship that exists between our two nations,” Obama said in a speech at a global entrepreneurs conference at Stanford University. “That will endure. The EU will remain one of our indispensable partners.”