Theresa May on Wednesday became Britain’s new Prime Minister after David Cameron gave an emotional farewell address, hugging his wife, Samantha, and children, Elwen, Florence and Nancy, on the steps of 10, Downing Street.
Cameron said serving as Prime Minister had been “the greatest honour of my life” before making the short trip to Buckingham Palace to hand in his resignation at 5pm, USA Today reports.
May, 59, was invited to form a government by the Queen just after 5.30pm in a swift changeover and gave her first speech on the steps of Downing Street afterwards.
May, the former home secretary, is Britain’s second female Prime Minister after Margaret Thatcher, who ran the country between 1979 and 1990.
She subsequently announced members of her cabinet.
In her first speech delivered at 10, Downing Street and monitored by our correspondent on CNN, the new British PM commended her predecessor and promised to build on his legacy by ensuring social justice and promoting a united Britain.
She said “I know you’re working around the clock. I know you’re doing your best. I know sometimes life can be a struggle.
She said, “In David Cameron I follow in the footsteps of a great modern Prime Minister. His true legacy is not about the economy but about social justice. The full title of my party is the Conservative and Unionist party – and that word unionist is very important to me. It means we believe in the union – the precious, precious bond between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.”
May also promised to keep the interests of the poor at heart, adding that she shared in their plight.
“The government I lead will be driven not by the interests of the privileged few, but by you (the poor). When it comes to taxes, we will prioritise not the wealthy, but you. Together we will build a better Britain.”
Earlier, in Cameron’s final Prime Minister’s Questions, the family watched from the House of Commons public gallery as Jeremy Corbyn paid tribute to the Tory leader’s legalisation of gay marriage.
The former PM won applause and a standing ovation from Tories after his joke-laden appearance.
He said, “I will miss the roar of the crowd. I will miss the barbs of the opposition. But I will be willing you on.”