Cameron Out, May In On Dramatic Day In British Politics

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron smiles as he leaves 10 Downing Street, in London to face prime minister's questions for the last time Wednesday, July 13, 2016. Cameron will be appearing before Parliament as prime minister for the last time before handing over to successor Theresa May.(AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron smiles as he leaves 10 Downing Street, in London to face prime minister's questions for the last time Wednesday, July 13, 2016. Cameron will be appearing before Parliament as prime minister for the last time before handing over to successor Theresa May.(AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

LONDON — David Cameron is making a final appearance in the House of Commons as prime minister Wednesday before handing over to his successor, Theresa May.

The prime ministerial Jaguar left 10 Downing St. in mid-morning, taking Cameron to Parliament.

Cameron is stepping down less than three weeks after losing the campaign to keep Britain in the European Union. He will take on his final weekly prime minister's questions session at noon before traveling to Buckingham Palace to tender his resignation to Queen Elizabeth II.

May will later visit the palace, where the queen will ask her to form a new government.

The new leader, Britain's home secretary — in charge of immigration and law and order — for the past six years, has the tough task of calming the country, and the financial markets, after upheaval following the result of the June 23 referendum.

She is expected to quickly unveil a new Cabinet lineup, including a minister in charge of implementing Brexit, a British exit from the EU.

May, who backed remaining in the EU, will also be expected to reward prominent campaigners for a "leave" vote with key jobs. Observers are keen to see if she appoints former London Mayor Boris Johnson and Justice Secretary Michael Gove, onetime Conservative leadership contenders who jointly headed the "leave" campaign, and then turned on one another.

There is also speculation that May, Britain's second female prime minister — after Margaret Thatcher — will boost the number of women in top posts.

Cameron told The Daily Telegraph it had been "a privilege to serve the country I love."

He said he hoped he was leaving "a stronger country, a thriving economy and more chances to get on in life."

Newspapers offered harsher judgments of a politician toppled by his decision to call a referendum on EU membership — which he then lost. The Sun said Cameron had been "undone by his Olympian overconfidence," while the Guardian called him a "prime minister of broken promises."

But Cameron drew praise from an old adversary, with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker saying he would miss the British leader.

Cameron once derided Juncker as a Brussels backroom bureaucrat and tried to block him from becoming commission president.

Juncker told reporters in Beijing that he had "no beef" with Cameron.

"I have experienced a man who is serious, who is a fan of no-nonsense policy and who was delivering at each and every moment when things started to become serious," Juncker said.

By JILL LAWLESS and DANICA KIRKA - Jul. 13, 2016 5:43 AM EDTAP

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Associated Press Writer Louise Watt in Beijing contributed to this story.

 
 

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