British Prime Minister David Cameron announced Monday that he plans to step down from office earlier than initially expected. Cameron will attend a session of Prime Minister’s Questions in parliament on Wednesday before tendering his resignation to the queen the same day.
Cameron initially planned to leave office by October to give his ruling Conservative Party enough time to hold a leadership election to determine his successor. The party’s contest lasted far shorter than expected, however.
After a series of surprising events over recent weeks in which prominent candidates Boris Johnson and Michael Gove both exited the race, the field narrowed to Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom and Home Secretary Theresa May.
Leadsom unexpectedly took herself out of contention on Monday, leaving May the role of next prime minister.
Once May was lined up as the Conservative Party’s next leader, Cameron told reporters in London that there was no need for him to stay on until the fall.
“Obviously, with these changes, we now don’t need to have a prolonged period of transition,” Cameron said.
“On Wednesday, I will attend the House of Commons for Prime Minister’s Questions. And then after that, I expect to go to the palace and offer my resignation, so we will have a new prime minister in that building behind me by Wednesday evening.”
Cameron spoke to reporters in front of 10 Downing Street, but left his microphone on as he walked back into the residence. A video of the press conference picked up Cameron humming a tune on his way through the door, before giving a resigned “right ... good.”
Cameron’s decision to leave office on Wednesday brings a rapid end to his disastrous past few weeks as prime minister, in which he resigned after his “remain” campaign lost the June referendum for the U.K. to stay in the European Union. At the Wimbledon tennis tournament men’s final on Sunday, the crowd booed when Cameron's name was mentioned as he watched from the royal box.