Former Prime Minister David Cameron has resigned as an MP – saying he didn’t want to be a “distraction and a big diversion” to the new government.
Cameron’s resignation will prompt a by-election in his Witney constituency, which has represented as an MP since 2001.
Cameron stood down as PM in June after failing to persuade the UK to remain in the European Union.
The bookies expect the Conservatives to retain the Witney seat, as Ladbrokes puts the Conservatives at 1/500 to win.
Cameron said: “I thought about this long and hard over the summer and I decided that the right thing to do was to stand down at the member of Parliament for Witney. There’ll be a by-election, I’ll give the Conservative candidate my full support but in my view with modern politics, with the circumstances of my resignation, it isn’t really possible to be a proper backbench MP as a former Prime Minister.
“I think everything you do would become a big distraction and a big diversion for what the government needs to do for our country. I support Theresa May, I think she’s got off to a great start, I think she can be a strong Prime Minister for our country.
“I don’t want to be that distraction. I want Witney to have a new MP who can play a full part in parliamentary and political life without being a distraction.
“I’m going to have to start building a life outside Westminster. I hope I’ll continue to contribute in terms of public service and of course contribute to this country I love so much.”