David Cameron: This has been the greatest honour of my life

Posted On: 
13th July 2016

David Cameron today said being Prime Minister was "the greatest honour of my life" as he left 10 Downing Street for the last time.

David Cameron addresses the nation outside 10 Downing Street
PA Images

With his wife Samantha and their three children by his side, the outgoing Tory leader delivered an emotional address before going to Buckingham Palace to deliver his resignation to the Queen.

Mr Cameron said Britain "is much stronger" than it was when he first became Prime Minister in 2010 - highlighting his government's efforts to improve the economy, as well as flagship policies such as the national living wage, reforms to the adoption system and the legalisation of gay marriage.

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"It has been the greatest honour of my life to serve our country as Prime Minister over these last six years and to serve as leader of my party for almost 11 years," he said.

"As we leave for the last time, my only wish is continued success for this great country that I love so very much."

The outgoing Prime Minister - who announced he was standing down the morning after Britain voted to quit the EU - also paid tribute to his family.

He said: "I want to thank my children: Nancy, Elwin and Florence, for whom Downing Street has been a lovely home over these last six years.

"They sometimes kick the red boxes full of work – Florence, you once climbed into one before a foreign trip and said ‘take me with you’. Well no more boxes.

"And above all, I want to thank Samantha, the love of my life. You have kept me vaguely sane and as well as being an amazing wife, mother and businesswoman, you’ve done something every week in that building behind me to celebrate the best of voluntary service in our country."

Mr Cameron said the spirit of public service was one of Britain’s “most remarkable qualities”.

“I’ve seen that service day-in, day-out, in the incredible work of our Armed Forces, our intelligence agencies, and our police,” he said.

“It is something I always knew, but as Prime Minister you see it so directly that it blows you away.”

Mr Cameron also welcomed incoming Prime Minister Theresa May, who he said will “provide strong and stable leadership” and negotiate the “best possible” Brexit deal.

Ms May will be sworn in by the Queen later tonight and will go to No 10 to make her first statement as Prime Minister.

After her success as the last candidate standing in the Conservative leadership race, the home secretary promised to negotiate “the best deal” for Britain leaving the EU.

“Brexit means Brexit and we're going to make a success of it,” she declared in her victory speech.

She is expected to reveal the first appointments to her Cabinet later this evening with more women rumoured for top roles.

Energy Secretary Amber Rudd and International Development Secretary Justine Greening are among the names being linked with key jobs in Mrs May’s first Cabinet.