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Gordon Brown Resigns as Britain’s Prime Minister

Prime Minister David Cameron on the steps of 10 Downing Street on Tuesday. Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images.

UPDATED — 4:35 pm ET

David Cameron became Britain’s new prime minister on Tuesday, returning his Conservative party to power after 13 years of Labour party rule.

Speaking outside the 10 Downing Street for the first time as prime minister, Cameron said he would move to establish a “proper and full coalition” government with the nation’s Liberal Democrats.

“I came into politics because I love this country, I think it’s best days still lie ahead and I believe deeply in public service,” Cameron said.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced Tuesday he will tender his resignation to Queen Elizabeth II, ending 13 years of Labour Party rule in the United Kingdom.

The announcement clears the way for David Cameron, leader of the opposition Conservative Party, to establish a coalition government with the third-party Liberal Democrats and become the nation’s next prime minister.

“I have informed the Queen’s private secretary that it’s my intention to tender my resignation to the Queen,” Brown said from the steps of 10 Downing Street. With his wife Sarah at his side, he added: “In the event that the queen accepts, I shall advise her to invite the leader of the opposition to seek to form a government.”

Following the announcement, Brown departed for Buckingham Palace to formally deliver his resignation. Conservative leader Cameron arrived at the palace shortly afterward to accept the queen’s invitation to form a new government.

Conservatives won the most seats during last week’s parliamentary election, but fell short of the outright majority needed to establish a government. The unclear outcome left Conservative and Labour leaders jockeying to form a coalition government with the Liberal Democrats. On Monday, Brown offered to step down as leader of the Labour Party in a final attempt to unite with the Liberal Democrats. His resignation, however, signals Nick Clegg, head of the Liberal Democrats, has reached a power-sharing pact with David Cameron.

We’ll have lots more on Britain’s political sea change on tonight’s PBS NewsHour, including an interview with Ned Temko of The Observer. Stay tuned.

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