UK PM David Cameron will step down by October after Brexit vote video

David Cameron speaks after Britain voted to leave the European Union, outside Number 10 Downing Street in London, ...
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David Cameron speaks after Britain voted to leave the European Union, outside Number 10 Downing Street in London, Britain June 24, 2016.

Britain's David Cameron said he would resign as Prime Minister by October after Britons ignored his pleas to stay in the European Union and voted in a referendum to leave.

"The will of the British people is an instruction that must be delivered," he said outside his London residence in Downing Street.

He said he would leave it to his successor to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which kicks off the two-year process of negotiating a new trade relationship with the UK's former partners.

"The country requires fresh leadership to take it in this direction," Cameron said.

"I will do everything I can as prime minister to steady the ship over the coming weeks and months, but I don't think it would be right for me to try to be the captain that steers our country to its next destination."

Cameron, who choked back tears, gave no detailed timetable but said there should be a new leader by the time his Conservative Party holds its annual conference in October.

"This is not a decision I've taken lightly but I do believe it is in the national interest to have a period of stability and then the new leadership required," he said.

"I think it's right that this new Prime Minister takes the decision about when to trigger article 50 and start the process of leaving the EU."

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His announcement will trigger a battle for the Conservative leadership - and the keys to Number 10 - likely to feature Brexit standard-bearer Boris Johnson taking on figures such as Home Secretary Theresa May, who took a low profile in the referendum campaign.

Boris Johnson is favourite with UK bookmaker's Ladbrokes to succeed Cameron.

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-Agencies

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