David Cameron has left Downing Street for the last time as prime minister


David Cameron has left 10 Downing Street for the last time as prime minister, as he set off on the short trip to Buckingham Palace to tender his resignation to the Queen and hand over the reins of power to Theresa May.

Accompanied by his wife Samantha and children Nancy, Elwen and Florence 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.

David Cameron makes a speech outside 10 Downing Street (Gareth Fuller/PA)

In a clear bid to define his legacy, he spoke of his pride at reducing the deficit, introducing gay marriage, increasing international aid spending and reducing NHS waiting lists. He also paid tribute to Samantha, who he described as "the love of my life" who had "kept me vaguely sane".

david cameron looks at his wife and kids (Hannah McKay/PA)

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".

And he said May would provide "strong and stable leadership in delivering the Conservative manifesto on which we were elected" and wished her well in negotiating the withdrawal from the EU which voters backed in last month's referendum.

Cameron concluded: "It has been the greatest honour of my life to serve our country as Prime Minister over these last six years and to serve as leader of my party over 11 years.

"And as we leave for the last time, my only wish is continued success for this great country that I love so very much."

David Cameron arrives at Buckingham Palace (Steve Parsons/PA)

Cameron's audience with the Queen will be swiftly followed by the arrival at the Palace of May, who will be formally appointed the UK's second female Prime Minister by "kissing hands" with the monarch.

His departure came just hours after his final session of Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons, where he won a standing ovation from Conservative MPs after telling them: "I was the future once".

And he won laughter by telling MPs: "Other than one meeting this afternoon with Her Majesty the Queen, my diary for the rest of the day is remarkably light."