Theresa May plans new British cabinet as David Cameron leaves Downing Street

Outgoing Tory leader faces final PMQs in the House of Commons at lunchtime

theresa may

Theresa May leaves 10 Downing Street after the final British cabinet meeting with David Cameron as PM | Photo: PA Images

British Prime Minister David Cameron exits Downing Street later today, as Theresa May prepares to take over the Tory leadership. 

Mr Cameron will attend his last Prime Minister's Questions in the Commons at lunchtime before heading to Buckingham Palace to offer his resignation.

Mrs May will then have an audience with Queen Elizabeth II, when she will accept an offer to form a new government before returning to Number 10 as the new PM.

The outgoing British Home Secretary is expected to come under pressure from EU member states to invoke Article 50 as soon as possible, which will mark the beginning of two years of formal talks for Brexit.

The new PM will also likely face stiff opposition from leaders in Scotland and Northern Ireland, as most voters in those regions were in favour of remaining in the bloc.

Although MPs are going to debate the prospect of a second referendum on EU membership in September - after a petition calling for a fresh vote was signed by more than four million people - Mrs May has insisted that "Brexit means Brexit".

Plans for top team

Another pressing priority will be to finalise a new cabinet, with Mrs May's spokesperson hinting there will be more women in prominent government positions.

One of the first appointments is expected to be a secretary of state for the so-called Brexit department, with Mrs May's spokesperson saying she is committed to getting on with "delivering the verdict of the EU referendum".

Potential candidates for Brexit minister include Liam Fox, David Davis or even Andrea Leadsom, who could be in line for a Cabinet post in acknowledgment of her elevated profile following the Tory leadership contest.

Mrs May also looks set to try to unify the Tories by offering major roles to colleagues who were on both sides of the EU referendum debate.

The move to accommodate more Eurosceptic MPs and women could spell the end of some current cabinet careers, while considerably changing the course of others.

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond could be in line for a job swap with Chancellor George Osborne, and Mrs May will also be searching for a tough operator to succeed her in the Home Office.

 

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