The Prime Minister’s decision to stand down is extremely sad, particularly for us in Oxfordshire. He has been a fantastic constituency neighbour, friend to Banbury and a tireless supporter of everything in Oxfordshire including the Horton General Hospital. He will go down in history as a great reforming Prime Minister. His statement this morning was dignified, and reminded us of the vision he had for Britain. We must all now work together to make it a reality.

In his own words:

The country has just taken part in a giant democratic exercise, perhaps the biggest in our history. Over 33 million people from England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Gibraltar, have all had their say. We should be proud of the fact that in these islands, we trust the people with these big decisions. We not only have a parliamentary democracy but on questions about the arrangements for how we are governed, there are times when it is right to ask the people themselves, and that is what we have done. The British people have voted to leave the European Union and there will must be respected.….The will of the British people is an instruction that must be delivered….We must now prepare for a negotiation with the European Union.

“…I am very proud and honoured to have been Prime Minister of this country for six years. I believe we have made great steps, with more people in work than ever before in our history, with reforms to welfare and education, increasing people’s life chances, building a bigger and stronger society, keeping our promises to the poorest people in the world and enabling those who love each other to get married whatever their sexuality. But above all restoring Britain’s economic strength. And I’m grateful to everyone who has helped to make that happen. I’ve also always believed that we have to confront big decisions, not duck them. That is why we delivered the first Coalition Government in 70 years, to bring our economy back from the brink. It’s why we delivered a fair, legal and decisive referendum in Scotland and it’s why I made the pledge to renegotiate Britain’s position in the European Union and hold a referendum on our membership and have carried those things out.

“…The British people have made a choice. That not only needs to be respected, but those on the losing side of the argument, myself included, should help to make it work. Britain is a special country. We have so many great advantages. A parliamentary democracy where we resolve issues about our future through peaceful debate. A great trading nation with our science and arts, our engineering and creativity, respected the world over. And while we are not perfect I do believe we can be a model of a multiracial, multi-faith democracy where people can come and make a contribution and rise to the very highest that their talent allows.

“Although leaving Europe was not the path I recommended, I’m the first to praise our incredible strengths. I said before that Britain can survive outside the European Union and indeed that we could find a way. Now the decision has been made to leave, we need to find the best way. And I will do everything I can to help. I love this country, and I feel honoured to have served it. And I will do everything I can in future to help this great country succeed.

Victoria Prentis MP (Friday 24 June 2016)