LONDON: In fast paced developments, British Prime Minister David Cameron resigned as soon as the results of the Brexit vote made it clear that the people had voted in favour of leaving the European Union.

In a short, to the point speech to the media gathered outside 10 Downing Street, Cameron upheld the traditions of British integrity to make it clear that he was stepping down. He said that the verdict of the British people had to be respected, and indicated that the next Prime Minister should be in place by October before the Conservative party meet scheduled for that month. Cameron said it was for the new PM to steer the ship now, and begin the legal processes for leaving the European Union.

It was an emotional speech, and yet matter of fact. Cameron spoke of his love for the country, and for the need now for even “those on the losing side of the argument, including myself” to ensure that the transition was smooth, and UK emerged strong and stable. He said that steps were being taken to ensure that the markets remained stable, and to reassure the investors that British economy was strong. He said that he had campaigned for staying with the EU in his usual passionate style, involving head, heart and soul. That he had spoken directly and said what he believed. But now that the people had spoken, their verdict had to be respected.

The Leave campaign, after a slightly hesitant start, caught up to win with 51.8 per cent of the vote.

The Cabinet will meet on Monday. The vote has shocked the world, given the strong campaign by the ruling party in the UK. Sharp differences have emerged in the Labour party with at least 55 MPs said to be furious with leader James Corbynn. A backlash was evident within the party after he called upon the government to immediately start the process of withdrawing from the European Union. He said that Article 50 needs to be “invoked now” as several communities in his view were fed up with cuts and economic dislocation.

Prime Minister Cameron made it clear that this was not a decision he was going to take, and would leave it to the new captain of the ship as it were to start the legal processes through Article 50. He said it was only right for this to be the case, pointing out that while he could not set a time line he expected the new PM to be in command by October this year.

It might be recalled that Cameron had failed to win a majority and had to form a coalition government with the Liberal Democrats. This was Britains first coalition government since the World War Two.He was confident of winning a majority at the time, just as he was fairly confident as was the United States, that he would win the Brexit vote.