David Cameron will resign as Prime Minister on Wednesday saying that he leaves Britain a “stronger country” with a “thriving economy and more chances to get on in life”.
Speaking to The Telegraph, Mr Cameron says “it has been a privilege to serve the country I love” as he attempts to shift the focus of his legacy away from Brexit.
He will address the Commons for the final time as Prime Minister where he will highlight his record as a reforming Conservative who introduced same-sex marriage and commitment to spending on foreign aid.
He will then make a speech in Downing Street standing alongside his wife, Samantha, and their three children before leaving No 10 for the final time before heading to Buckingham Palace to formally resign.
On Tuesday he chaired his final Cabinet meeting where Theresa May and George Osborne led tributes to an “astonishing” Prime Minister who has left the UK in the “best place” for the future.
Shortly after the meeting ended removal vans arrived in Downing Street, as he and his family prepared to leave the flat above No. 11 which has been their home for 6 years.
His departure comes just 48 hours after Mrs May won the Tory leadership battle when Andrea Leadsom pulled out of the race. Mr Cameron had expected to spend another nine weeks in office during the leadership contest.
On Wednesday evening Mrs May will become Prime Minister and is expected to announce leading figures in her new Cabinet this evening. She will promote a series of women to the most senior positions in government.
There are likely to be significant promotions for Amber Rudd, the Energy Secretary, and Justine Greening, the International Development Secretary, as she unveils her new team.
Mrs Rudd is tipped for one of the four big offices of state, with friends of Mrs May suggesting that she could be made Home Secretary, while Mrs Greening is poised to become the new Health Secretary.
Mrs May’s reshuffle today is likely to propel several female Conservative MPs onto the front-bench for the first time and could mean that close to half of the Cabinet are women.
There were suggestions that Mr Osborne, who has been Chancellor for the entirety of Mr Cameron’s premiership, could be a casualty of the reshuffle.
Mr Cameron told The Telegraph: “I came into Downing Street to confront our problems as a country and lead people through difficult decisions so that together we could reach better times.
“As I leave today, I hope that people will see a stronger country, a thriving economy, and more chances to get on in life. It has been a privilege to serve the country I love.”
After Mr Cameron’s final address, he will drive to Buckingham Palace at around 5pm to formally tender his resignation to the Queen.
Shortly afterwards Mrs May will meet the Queen and be confirmed as Mr Cameron’s successor, arriving at Downing Street as the second female Prime Minister in Britain’s history.
Mrs May told Conservative activists that the party will “win big” in 2020 as she formally ruled out holding a snap general election, warning that the party cannot forget the threat posed by the Labour Party.
Speaking to Conservative activists she said: “The Labour Party brought our country to the brink of bankruptcy and we can never let them do it again.
“Whether it’s led by Tony Blair, Gordon Brown or Jeremy Corbyn, when Labour prospers the country suffers.
“So let’s make sure they don’t prosper. Let us redouble our efforts. And let us make sure we put this time to good use, to build the support we need to go to the country in four years’ time, and not just win, but win big.”
There are likely to be several new women appointed to Cabinet including Karen Bradley, a junior Home Office minister, and Margot James, a long-standing ally of Mrs May.
Priti Patel, the Eurosceptic employment minister, is likely to be appointed to a full Cabinet. Andrea Leadsom, the energy minister who stepped aside from the leadership race clearing the path for Mrs May to become Prime Minister, is tipped to replace Mrs Rudd as the new Energy Secretary.
The Prime Minister started his penultimate day in power with his final Cabinet meeting, where his ministers banged the tables on four occasions in tribute to his achievements.
Mr Cameron said that it had been an “honour and a pleasure” to chair the Cabinet for the past six years, adding that he had chaired 215 meetings and discussed 900 items of Government business.
He spoke of his “pride at the record of achievements for the Government”, and wished Mrs May “the support and friendship he had received” said he believed she was the right leader for the “difficult times ahead”.
During the Cabinet, Mr Cameron hailed the Government’s policies to improve “life chances” as an example of how he and his ministers had worked “to do more for those that had the least”.
Mrs May led tributes to Mr Cameron, highlighting the role he had played in leading Britain through the financial crisis and in securing Britain against he “increasing terrorist threat”.
Mr Osborne said that as Prime Minister Mr Cameron has left Britain in the “best place” for the future, highlighting the national living wage and his success in stabilising the economy in the wake of the financial crisis. The Cabinet meeting did not, however, discuss the outcome of the EU referendum.
The Prime Minister later paid a visit to a free school in Feltham, west London, where he was cheered by pupils on his arrival.
Announcing the creation of 31 new free schools, he said: “Free schools have been at the heart of this government’s education reforms which have seen more than 1.4m more children in good or outstanding schools since 2010.”
“More than 300 have been created since I became Prime Minister and 200 are set to open meaning tens of thousands more young people, many from disadvantaged areas, finally have a choice of a good education that helps them reach their full potential.
“I am proud of what this government has achieved, working with heads and teachers to raise standards so that our young people have the best possible start in life.”
On Tuesday afternoon he toured Downing Street, where he said a personal goodbye to his staff and his press team.
He also spent part of his last day in No. 10 drawing up a list of resignation honours, in which he will recognise the work of a dozen his closest aides and supporters.
The removal van arrived outside Downing Street shortly after 11am, with the Prime Minister and his family expected to leave the flat above No. 11 – which has been their home for six years – on Wednesday afternoon.