David Cameron leaves the Commons stage: I was the future once...

Written by Sebastian Whale on 13 July 2016 in Diary
Diary

Cameron bowed out with a note of self-deprecation: 'I was the future once.'

David Cameron was given a standing ovation in the Commons today as MPs paid tribute to the outgoing prime minister on his last day in office.

With wife Samantha and his children watching on from the press gallery, the Tory leader took part in his final prime minister’s questions as leader before heading to Buckingham Palace to tender his resignation.

Jeremy Corbyn wished his counterpart well and praised Cameron for pushing through the Same Sex Marriage Act and his work securing the release of Shaker Aamer from Guantanamo Bay.

He also asked Cameron to "pass on my thanks to his mum for her advice about ties and suits".

Cameron used the occasion to highlight his record in power, including on job creation, apprenticeships, legislating to allow gay people to marry and introducing the so-called national living wage.

He insisted that the fate of Larry the cat, the Downing Street mouser, was not in his hands.

And he compared Corbyn to the black knight in Monty Python’s Holy Grail, who never gives up despite being chopped to pieces.

During the 30-minute session, Cameron revealed he had answered more than 5,500 at PMQs during his six year tenure, and displayed some of his customary wit at the despatch box.

In his peroration, he said: "I will watch these exchanges from the backbenches. I will miss the roar of the crowd; I will miss the barbs from the opposition. But I will be willing you on... because people come here with huge passion, the issues they care about.

"They come here with great love for the constituencies that they represent. And also willing on this place, because yes we can be pretty tough and test and challenge our leaders, perhaps more than some other countries. But that is something that we should be proud of, and we should keep at it. And I hope you will all keep at it and I will will you on as you do.

“The last thing I’d say is that you can achieve a lot of things in politics, you can get a lot of things done. And that in the end, the public service, the national interest, that is what it’s all about. Nothing is really impossible if you put your mind to it: after all, as I once said: I was the future once.”

Tory MP Peter Lilley praised Cameron for his “mastery of the despatch box”, while Conservative veteran Ken Clarke gave a warm tribute urging for him to remain a prominent figure on the green benches.

Answering his last question, Cameron paid tribute to MPs across the House, before waving towards his onlooking family.

Conservative MPs and members of the public gallery then stood up applaud, along with a few Liberal Democrat, SNP and DUP MPs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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