LONDON—Former Prime Minister David Cameron is standing down from his position in Parliament because he doesn’t want to be a distraction to the new government headed by Theresa May.
Cameron’s unexpected announcement Monday will trigger a by-election for his seat in Oxfordshire. Cameron had earlier resigned as prime minister after failing to convince British voters in June to remain in the European Union in a referendum.
He said at the time he planned to remain in Parliament although he would no longer have a leadership role in the Conservative Party. He has been replaced as prime minister by May, who is overseeing the process to remove Britain from the 28-nation EU.
Cameron said he no longer thinks it is possible for a former prime minister to serve as a “back bencher” without distracting attention from the government. It wasn’t immediately clear when the by-election for his seat would take place.
He said that May is off to “a great start” and is well positioned to lead Britain. Cameron promised to support the Conservative Party candidate chosen to replace him in the by-election that will be held in order to fill the vacancy.
Cameron had won re-election in 2015, but his position became untenable after losing the EU vote on June 23. He had campaigned in favor of remaining in the EU bloc.
He did not announce his future plans.