Breaking News: UK’s Brown resigns, Cameron to take over as PM

LONDON, (Reuters) – Gordon Brown resigned as prime  minister of Britain today and said Conservative leader  David Cameron would take over, ending 13 years of rule by the  centre-left Labour Party.
The centre-right Conservatives won most seats in a  parliamentary election last week but fell short of a majority.  Labour came second and the Liberal Democrats a distant third.
Both the Conservatives and Labour tried to win Lib Dem  support to form the next government during five days of intense  negotiations, but it became clear this afternoon that  Labour had lost and Brown would have to resign.
“I have informed the Queen’s private secretary that it’s my  intention to tender my resignation to the Queen,” Brown told  reporters outside his Downing Street office, flanked by his wife  Sarah.
“In the event that the Queen accepts I shall advise her to  invite the leader of the opposition (Cameron) to seek to form a  government. I wish the next prime minister well as he makes the  important choices for the future,” an emotional Brown said.
The sequence of events was in accordance with British  constitutional convention. Just after his statement, Brown, his  wife and their two children briefly posed for photographers  before leaving Downing Street, the official prime ministerial  residence.
Brown’s statement made clear that the Conservatives and the  Liberal Democrats had secured some sort of power-sharing  arrangement, but the exact details were not yet known.
Senior Conservative William Hague, who has been negotiating  with the Lib Dems, told reporters minutes after Brown’s  statement that he and his team now had recommendations to  propose to party colleagues.
Earlier, Britain’s sterling currency jumped 1 percent  against the dollar and government bonds rallied on reports that  a Conservative/Lib Dem deal was imminent.
Markets want a quick resolution to the uncertainty and  favour a Conservative-led government because they believe it  would move faster and harder to cut Britain’s record budget  deficit.
Britain is emerging from its worst recession since World War  Two and analysts believe only a strong and stable government can  tackle the deficit aggressively and protect Britain’s triple-A  credit rating.
The Lib Dems had turned to the Conservatives first, on the  basis that they had won most votes and most seats in last  Thursday’s election. But Brown threw a spanner in the works yesterday when he said he would step aside in coming months.
The move was aimed at tempting the Lib Dems away from the  Conservatives and into an alliance with Labour. The Lib Dem  leader Nick Clegg had made it clear during the campaign he did  not wish to prop up the unpopular Brown.

Around the Web