UK elections: David Cameron becomes Prime Minister

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Cameron had only been in Parliament for nine years before becoming Prime Minister

David Cameron was today appointed the new British Prime Minister. This follows five days of negotiation after the May 6 general election resulted in a hung parliament. While the Conservative Party won the largest number of seats, they lacked enough for a majority government, and will consequently form a coalition with the Liberal Democrats, who took the third-largest number. The agreement induces Nick Clegg, Liberal Democrat leader, becoming Deputy Prime Minister, five Cabinet seats for Liberal Democrat members and a compromise between policies.

Cameron, at 43, is the youngest prime minister since Lord Liverpool in 1812, and had only been a Member of Parliament for nine years prior to taking the most senior political office in the country. He is the twelfth Prime Minister of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II. The post-election negotiations see the end of thirteen years of Labour Party rule beginning with the victory of Tony Blair in 1997.

Brown served as Prime Minister for three years
Image: World Economic Forum.

Earlier today Cameron's predecessor Gordon Brown, recently resigned as leader of the Labour Party, officially stood down from office with immediate effect. The news followed the inital announcement yesterday in which he declared he was standing down to secure a coalition for Labour and other parties and avoid a Conservative government.

In a speech outside 10 Downing Street, following his initial statement, Brown admitted he had "learned a lot about human frailties, including [his] own", and thanked the armed forces, his wife, Sarah, his family and staff before wishing the new Prime Minister well.

The possibility of a Labour-LibDem parliament was ruled out as negotiations between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats drew to a close. Brown was officially relieved of his role as Prime Minister by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace. According to The Guardian, Harriet Harman, who has been deputy leader of the Labour Party since 2007, will stand in temporarily as acting Labour party leader and leader of the opposition. David Cameron arrived at Buckingham Palace at about 20:10 British Summer Time (1910 UTC) and was asked by the Queen to form a new government.


Some information contained in this article was obtained from television, radio, or live webcast sources. Reporter's notes and the broadcast source details are available at the collaboration page.