LONDON — British Prime Minister David Cameron chaired a farewell Cabinet meeting Tuesday before handing over power to his successor following the historic vote to leave the European Union.
Ministers gathered for the final session a day after Home Secretary Theresa May was confirmed as the new Conservative leader and prime minister-in-waiting.
Cameron resigned after Britons voted June 23 — against his advice — to leave the EU, and May will have to oversee the complex process of separating from the bloc.
She will spend the day considering the makeup of her own Cabinet before she moves into 10 Downing St. on Wednesday.
British media have focused on whether Treasury chief George Osborne will keep his job.
With the pound in crisis and fears over the economy, some argue that May could opt for continuity and keep Osborne in place, particularly as he has the confidence of many in the banks and markets.
But others say that the key position should go to someone who favored leaving the European Union.
May supported remaining in the EU, but has promised to give prominent “leave” campaigners key Cabinet roles in a bid to heal the party’s longstanding split over Europe.
She has also said she will appoint a “Brexit minister” to oversee negotiations with the EU.
May is already facing pressure from the 27 remaining EU countries to invoke Article 50 of the bloc’s constitution, which sets the clock ticking on two years of formal exit talks. She has not said when she plans to do it.
She is also facing calls from opposition politicians to call an early election, before the next scheduled vote in 2020.
May might be tempted to go to the polls to confirm her own mandate, and because the main opposition Labour Party is in the midst of a leadership struggle that puts it in a weak position.
Leader Jeremy Corbyn has lost the support of most Labour members of Parliament and is facing a challenge from legislator Angela Eagle.
The party’s governing National Executive Council is meeting Tuesday to rule on whether Corbyn should automatically be on the ballot in a leadership contest, or whether he needs to gather nominations from 51 lawmakers — something he would struggle to do.
Left-winger Corbyn has a strong base of support among grassroots Labour members and some trade union leaders.
Len McCluskey, general-secretary of the Unite union, called Eagle’s challenge a “coup” and said it would be a “sordid little fix” to exclude Corbyn from the ballot paper.
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