Cameron, Youngest Premier In 200 years

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[Global: Britain]

David Cameron, the leader of the British Conservative Party, has become the youngest British Prime Minister in two centuries when he accepted an invitation from the British Head of State, Queen Elizabeth II, to form a new government.

In a dramatic turn of events, the former Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, who has been leader of the Labour Party since Tony Blair was in 2007 forced by the Labour Party to stand down in favour of Brown before he could complete his third consecutive term as Prime Minister, announced he was tendering his resignation to the Queen and recommending that she ask Cameron to form the next British Government.

Since the inconclusive general elections last Thursday that saw non of the major political parties earning an outright majority in the House of Commons, both the Labour and Conservative Parties have been trying to woo the third largest political party in Britain, the Liberal Democrats, led by Nick Clegg, another very young politician, in an attempt to form a coalition government. The election had ended in a hung parliament after all three main parties failed to achieve the magical figure of 326 seats needed for a political party in Britain to have a majority in the House of Commons.

From the very outset, Clegg made it very clear that the right thing for him, as the third largest party with 55 seats in the Commons, was to conduct talks with the party that had won the most seats during the elections.

The Conservatives won 307 seats, far ahead of the Labour party that managed only 255 votes with the Liberal Democrats coming out with 55. Brown tried to entice Clegg to join him but this was rather difficult as both parties did not have the amount of seats needed to make a majority in the Commons. For the Labour Party to have continued in power, it would have needed not only the backing of the Liberal Democrats but that of the Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP), the Welsh Nationalist Party Plaid Cymru as well as the Irish Nationalists. The outcome of such an arrangement was very debatable and no one with the knowledge of British politics gave such talks a chance. It also became very clear that Labour Members of Parliament were not willing to enter into a coalition with the Lib Dems. Many publicly announced they preferred to start afresh from the opposition benches. It will be the first time since the second world war that the government benches in the House of Commons are also occupied by another party.

As first reported by Str8talk Chronicle soon after the polling stations closed , British voters had simply got fed up with the 13 years of a Labour government and although not very firmly, had indicated they had simply had enough of socialist democracy. This website newspaper became the first to announce to the world that British voters had rejected Brown. He tried to stay in power, as is his right by the unwritten British constitution that enables the incumbent to remain in power when there is a hung parliament.

In talks that Brown held with the Liberal Democrats, it became clear that Clegg, who is now to become Britain’s deputy Prime Minister, would not waver from his decision that the party that had won the most seats ought to be the one to form the next election. When Brown was confronted with this reality, it left him with no option but to render his resignation to the Queen.

With his wife Sarah at his side, Brown came out of No 10 Downing Street to say the following: “As you know, the General Election left no party able to command a majority in the House of Commons. I said that I would do all I could to ensure a strong, stable and principled government was formed, able to tackle Britain's economic and political challenges effectively. My constitutional duty is to make sure that a government can be formed following last Thursday's general election."

Although Brown had a lump on his voice as he read his farewell speech, he never sounded bitter at leaving the most prestigious job in Britain to his bitter Conservative opponent. TV pictures showed him waiting for traffic lights as he left the palace. No attempt was made to drive him through the traffic. Neither was the new Prime Minister accorded special attention after the Queen had asked him to form a government. Cameron’s car was seen being held up in traffic as he tried to make his way to his new home and office, No 10 Downing Street. Although by now there were several security cars in his convoys, one could see pedestrians riding they bicycles past his car as he sat in the London evening traffic.

As Brown left the microphones to head for Buckingham Palace to meet with the Queen, Labour supporters who had been milling around the Prime Minister’s residence all day shouted: “Lib Dems are Yellow Tories’. Tories down. Tories down.”
Brown’s abrupt resignation and his recommendation that the Queen invite the opposition leader to form the next government brought to an end 13 years of a Labour administration that started when Tony Blair won a landslide general election in 1997. Blair, who went on to win three consecutive general elections, has now made history as the only Labour leader to have won three elections in a row. It is yet unclear whether those who forced him out of office when he had just won a third term would be regretting having removed a man who knew how to win elections. A number of labour party members are still angry that Brown made life so uneasy for Blair when he blatantly told him to vacate his seat so that he could become Prime Minister.

President Barack Obama became the first Western leader to call Cameron and congratulate him. Obama invited the new British Prime Minister to visit Washington this summer. The French and German leaders followed suit.

Cameron’s coalition partner Nick Clegg has come out of being nobody in the last few months to being the new deputy British Prime Minister. Not in his wildest of dreams would he have thought when this year begun that he would end it being in such an important political position. Both Cameron and Clegg made history when they announced that the next general election will be held on May 21, 2015. This had never been done before as the date of a British general election has always been announced at the pleasure of the sitting Prime Minister.

Gombya is The Black Star News's Europe News Editor


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