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Theresa May appointed UK prime minister

Press AssociationPress Association 13/07/2016

Theresa May has been appointed the UK's second female prime minister in a private audience with the Queen at which she was invited to form a government.

May's elevation to the country's most senior political role, at the age of 59, completes a whirlwind rise which was triggered by the unexpected referendum vote for "Brexit" on June 23 which brought down predecessor David Cameron.

She "kissed hands" with the monarch in a simple procedure at Buckingham Palace which made her the 13th holder of the post of prime minister and First Lord of the Treasury during Elizabeth II's reign.

May arrived at the Palace by ministerial car with husband Philip, having set off from the House of Commons only after receiving the signal that Cameron's resignation as PM had been accepted by the Queen and that he had advised the head of state to appoint the former Home Secretary in his place.

Cameron was accompanied by wife Samantha and children Nancy, Elwen and Florence as he left 10 Downing Street for the last time as prime minister.

Standing with his family outside the famous black door, Cameron said that he believed he was leaving the country "much stronger" and the economy "immeasurably stronger" after his six years in office.

In a clear bid to define the legacy that he will leave behind him, he spoke of his pride at achievements including reducing the deficit, legalising gay marriage, boosting employment, introducing the National Living Wage, increasing international aid spending and cutting waits for NHS treatment

And he paid tribute to Samantha, who he described as "the love of my life" who had "kept me vaguely sane".

Cameron said he was "delighted that for the second time in British history the new prime minister will be a woman, and once again a Conservative".

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