Published: Wed, July 13, 2016
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

United Kingdom leadership handover in dramatic day in British politics

David Cameron's final full day as Prime Minister began with a removal van arriving in Downing Street, a "poignant" last ever Cabinet meeting - and confirmation that Larry the No.10 cat was staying put.

But when Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom unexpectedly pulled out of the race Monday, leaving only May, the home secretary, still in the running, Cameron announced that he would swiftly make way for the incoming leader.

Theresa May was planning her Cabinet top team as she prepared to take over as the UK's prime minister from the departing David Cameron on Wednesday.

May will also meet the Queen immediately after as part of a formal procedure and will then enter No 10 Downing Street as the UK Prime Minister by Wednesday evening.

Cameron has said he will give his resignation to Queen Elizabeth II after his last appearance in Parliament as prime minister; May will then go separately to Buckingham Palace to meet with the queen and take up her new post.

Speaking after Tuesday morning's cabinet, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said there were some "wonderful tributes" to Mr Cameron led by Mrs May and Chancellor George Osborne.

In a speech flanked by dozens of Conservative MPs, Mrs May, the home secretary since 2010, praised Mr Cameron for his stewardship of the Tory party and the country.

"Brexit means Brexit, and we're going to make a success of it", she said. He was adopted by the prime minister in 2011 to address a mouse problem.

So before starting protracted negotiations with the European Union and various other key trading nations, Mrs May will need to bring peace to her own team.

She will also want to appoint a tough operator to succeed her as Home Secretary, with Defence Secretary Michael Fallon and her leadership campaign chief Chris Grayling the leading candidates.

She dismissed call for an early general election to secure her own personal mandate.

Some 55 per cent, rising to 81 per cent of Conservatives, said she is prime ministerial material.

Investors will be watching Ms May's first days in office closely but with greater optimism as the value of the pound, which fell by up to 15 per cent against the dollar and the euro in the days of the Brexit vote, has rebounded on news of her impending promotion.

Cameron will step aside on Wednesday after losing the campaign to keep Britain in the European Union.

The 59-year-old, who will become Britain's second female prime minister after Margaret Thatcher, also has to attempt to bridge Conservative Party divisions and deal with a potential economic downturn.

"We get ourselves ready for the negotiation, we decide what kind of relationship we want to negotiate, and then we move ahead and trigger Article 50. But I just think she'll be very conscious of the issue overall, so we might see some improvement but I wouldn't have said it would be dramatic".

165-v-31-(Charles de Ledesma, AP correspondent)-British Prime Minister David Cameron is chairing his final key meeting before handing over power to his successor.

The appointment of Mrs May, who backed Remain in the European Union referendum, came as she received a poll boost showing a clear majority of the British public backed her as having what it takes to be Britain's new leader.

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