North West Norfolk MP Sir Henry Bellingham has spoken of his delight at Britain’s vote to leave the European Union and his sadness at David Cameron’s resignation as Prime Minister.
Mr Cameron announced his decision to stand down earlier today, around an hour after the result was formally confirmed.
Last night, Sir Henry’s name was among those of 84 Conservative MPs who signed a letter arguing Mr Cameron had a “mandate and duty” to stay in office regardless of the result.
And, speaking a short time ago, he said he felt his leader had made the wrong decision.
He said: “I do regret the prime minister deciding he’s going to resign. I think it’s a great pity.”
Sir Henry suggested that Mr Cameron could have remained in office to provide a period of “calm” before a future leadership contest and while exit negotiations take place.
He said: “I respect his decision but I think it’s the wrong decision. We’re now going to have the distraction of a leadership election. There is a domestic agenda to sort out and existing ministers need to be able to make decisions.”
But, on the referendum result, he added: “It’s a great day for Britain. I think it could be the start of a renaissance for Britain. Britain is a great, outward-looking nation and we can do well.”
Sir Henry also predicted that Britain’s vote could signal the start of the collapse of the existing union and a return to looser trading arrangements, which he says would be in Britain’s interests to pursue.