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EU Referendum Leave result: Jeremy Corbyn says he would stand again if leadership contest triggered

Leave campaign says nothing will change in short term and no need to evoke Article 50 - pressure mounts on Jeremy Corbyn following result

By Jonny Bell

Published 25/06/2016

The United Kingdom has voted to leave the European Union - sending shockwaves and uncertainty throughout the financial and political worlds leaving the Remain campaign in a state of incredulity and Prime Minister David Cameron resigning.

Scotland First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said another independence referendum was "highly likely".

Ministers plan Brussels talks 'to protect Scotland's place in the EU'

Jeremy Corbyn vows to fight to keep Labour leadership  

She said: "it was "democratically unacceptable" that Scotland faced the prospect of being taken out of the EU against its will and her government would begin preparing legislation to enable another independence vote.

The SNP leader said her priority was to reassure the people of Scotland about their immediate future and she would explore all options to secure Scotland's place in the European Union.

She added: "Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland will forever remain friends."

Responding, the Northern Ireland Secretary of State said Scotland had voted to be a part of the UK and that would remain the case.

DUP leader Arlene Foster said the test for a Northern Ireland border poll had not been met.

"Our Nation is safe," she said.

A general view of Manchester Town Hall, the setting for the national count in the referendum on the UK's membership of the European Union, before the counting of votes commences. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday June 23, 2016. See PA story POLITICS EU. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
A general view of Manchester Town Hall, the setting for the national count in the referendum on the UK's membership of the European Union, before the counting of votes commences. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday June 23, 2016. See PA story POLITICS EU. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
Polling station on Connsbrooke Avenue in east Belfast, as voters head to the polls across the UK in a historic referendum on whether the UK should remain a member of the European Union or leave. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday June 23, 2016. See PA story POLITICS EU Ulster. Photo credit should read: David Young/PA Wire
Chelsea pensioners at a polling station near to the Royal Chelsea Hospital, London, as voters head to the polls across the UK in a historic referendum on whether the UK should remain a member of the European Union or leave. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday June 23, 2016. See PA story POLITICS EU. Photo credit should read: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire
Boris Johnson and his wife Marina arrive to cast their votes at Hanover Primary School in north London, as voters head to the polls across the UK in a historic referendum on whether the UK should remain a member of the European Union or leave. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday June 23, 2016. See PA story POLITICS EU. Photo credit should read: Isabel Infantes/PA Wire
Jenny Watson, the Chief Counting Officer for the EU Referendum, announces that polling has closed and the national count has commenced at Manchester Town Hall. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday June 23, 2016. See PA story POLITICS EU. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
A ballot box is carried into the Royal Horticultural Halls in London as counting gets underway in the referendum on the UK's membership of the European Union. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday June 23, 2016. See PA story POLITICS EU. Photo credit should read: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire
A counter waits for ballot boxes to arrive at the Lindley Hall, Royal Horticultural Halls, London, as counting gets underway in the referendum on the UK's membership of the European Union. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday June 23, 2016. See PA story POLITICS EU. Photo credit should read: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire
Tellers wait for ballot papers at the Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast, as counting gets underway in the referendum on the UK's membership of the European Union. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday June 23, 2016. See PA story POLITICS EU. Photo credit should read: Liam McBurney/PA Wire
Counters empty ballot box at the Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast, as counting gets underway in the referendum on the UK's membership of the European Union. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday June 23, 2016. See PA story POLITICS EU. Photo credit should read: Liam McBurney/PA Wire
Press Eye - Referendum on the United Kingdom's membership of the European Union Northern Ireland- Titanic Count Centre - Belfast. Photograph by Declan Roughan Counting continues at Titanic Exhibition Centre as SDLP's Alban Maginness and Clare Hanna discuss progress
Press Eye - Referendum on the United Kingdom's membership of the European Union Northern Ireland- Titanic Count Centre - Belfast. Photograph by Declan Roughan Counting continues at Titanic Exhibition Centre
Press Eye - Referendum on the United Kingdom's membership of the European Union Northern Ireland- Titanic Count Centre - Belfast. Photograph by Declan Roughan 23rd June 2016 Former Justice Minister David Forde
Press Eye - Referendum on the United Kingdom's membership of the European Union Northern Ireland- Titanic Count Centre - Belfast. Photograph by Declan Roughan 23rd June 2016 Christopher Stalford chats with Dianne Dodds
Press Eye - Referendum on the United Kingdom's membership of the European Union Northern Ireland- Titanic Count Centre - Belfast. Photograph by Declan Roughan Counting continues at Titanic Exhibition Centre and Nigel Dodds chats with colleagues
Press Eye - Referendum on the United Kingdom's membership of the European Union Northern Ireland- Titanic Count Centre - Belfast. Photograph by Declan Roughan Counting continues at Titanic Exhibition Centre and Alastair Mc Donnell keep a close with on proceedings
A counter tallies ballot papers at the Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast, as counting gets underway in the referendum on the UK's membership of the European Union. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday June 23, 2016. See PA story POLITICS EU. Photo credit should read: Liam McBurney/PA Wire
Counters tally ballot papers at the Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast, as counting gets underway in the referendum on the UK's membership of the European Union. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday June 23, 2016. See PA story POLITICS EU. Photo credit should read: Liam McBurney/PA Wire
Bundles of ballot papers at the counting centre in Manchester Central after Thursday's EU referendum. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday June 24, 2016. See PA story POLITICS EU. Photo credit should read: Danny Lawson/PA Wire
How the vote stands at 5:30am. See story POLITICS EU.
UKIP Leader Nigel Farage speaking in London where he appeared to claim victory for the Leave campaign in the EU referendum. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday June 24, 2016. See PA story POLITICS EU. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
Leave supporters at the Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast, after polls closed in the EU referendum. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday June 24, 2016. See PA story POLITICS EU. Photo credit should read: Liam McBurney/PA Wire
Remain supporters at the Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast, after polls closed in the EU referendum. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday June 24, 2016. See PA story POLITICS EU. Photo credit should read: Liam McBurney/PA Wire
Supporters of leaving the EU celebrate at a party hosted by Leave.EU in central London as they watch results come in from around the country after Thursday's EU referendum. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday June 24, 2016. See PA story POLITICS EU. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
Supporters of the Stronger In campaign react after hearing results in the EU referendum at London's Royal Festival Hall. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday June 24, 2016. See PA story POLITICS EU. Photo credit should read: Rob Stothard/PA Wire
TOKYO, JAPAN - JUNE 24: People read special edition of the Sankei newspaper reporting the results of the UK vote on June 24, 2016 in Tokyo, Japan. The result from the historic EU referendum has now been declared and the United Kingdom has voted to LEAVE the European Union. (Photo by Takashi Aoyama/Getty Images)
TOKYO, JAPAN - JUNE 24: Pedestrians walk past an electronic stock board displaying the exchange rate of the yen against the US dollar outside a securities firm on June 24, 2016 in Tokyo, Japan. Process of the vote counting is underway and the majority of British people have voted to leave the European Union (Photo by Takashi Aoyama/Getty Images)
TOKYO, JAPAN - JUNE 24: A man watches an electronic board displaying price of the Nikkei stock average outside of a securities firm on June 24, 2016 in Tokyo, Japan. Process of the vote counting is underway and the majority of British people have voted to leave the European Union (Photo by Takashi Aoyama/Getty Images)
TV OUT. ALL BROADCAST WEBSITES OUT. No cropping permitted. Picture must be credited to Sky News. We are advised that videograbs should not be used more than 48 hours after the time of original transmission, without the consent of the copyright holder. Video grab taken from Sky News of Bank of England governor Mark Carney, who said "some market and economic volatility can be expected" in the wake of the Brexit vote, adding that the Bank was well prepared. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Friday June 24, 2016. See PA story POLITICS EU Bank. Photo credit should read: Sky News/PA Wire
Exchange rates displayed at a currency exchange in London after Britain voted to leave the European Union in an historic referendum which has thrown Westminster politics into disarray and sent the pound tumbling on the world markets. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday June 24, 2016. See PA story POLITICS EU. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
File photo dated 28/03/10 of British Airways aircraft at Heathrow Airport, as its owner, IAG, has issued a profit warning following the UK's decision to leave the EU. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Friday June 24, 2016. The company's share price tanked 19% to 425.6p in trading on Friday morning. See PA story POLITICS EU IAG. Photo credit should read: Steve Parsons/PA Wire
How the pound has fallen. See story POLITICS EU
A statue of Winston Churchill is silhouetted by Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament in central London on June 24, 2016. Britain has voted to break out of the European Union, striking a thunderous blow against the bloc and spreading panic through world markets Friday as sterling collapsed to a 31-year low. / AFP / Niklas HALLE'N
A police officer enters the door of 10 Downing Street, the official residence of the Prime Minister, as UKIP leader Nigel Farage claimed victory for the Leave campaign in the EU referendum. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday June 24, 2016. See PA story POLITICS EU. Photo credit should read: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire
Journalists outside 10 Downing Street, the official residence of the Prime Minister, as UKIP leader Nigel Farage claimed victory for the Leave campaign in the EU referendum. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday June 24, 2016. See PA story POLITICS EU. Photo credit should read: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire
Members of the press photograph Prime Minister David Cameron as he speaks outside 10 Downing Street, London, where he announced his resignation after Britain voted to leave the European Union in an historic referendum which has thrown Westminster politics into disarray and sent the pound tumbling on the world markets. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday June 24, 2016. See PA story POLITICS EU. Photo credit should read: Lauren Hurley/PA Wire
ALTERNATE CROP Prime Minister David Cameron walks out of 10 Downing Street, London, with wife Samantha where he announced his resignation after Britain voted to leave the European Union in an historic referendum which has thrown Westminster politics into disarray and sent the pound tumbling on the world markets. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday June 24, 2016. See PA story POLITICS EU. Photo credit should read: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 24: Prime Minister David Cameron speaks outside Downing Street on June 24, 2016 in London, England. The results from the historic EU referendum has now been declared and the United Kingdom has voted to LEAVE the European Union. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
Prime Minister David Cameron speaks outside 10 Downing Street, London, where he announced his resignation after Britain voted to leave the European Union in an historic referendum which has thrown Westminster politics into disarray and sent the pound tumbling on the world markets. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday June 24, 2016. See PA story POLITICS EU. Photo credit should read: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire
Samantha Cameron watches her husband David announce his resignation as Prime Minister outside 10 Downing Street, London, after Britain voted to leave the European Union in an historic referendum which has thrown Westminster politics into disarray and sent the pound tumbling on the world markets. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday June 24, 2016. See PA story POLITICS EU. Photo credit should read: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire
Prime Minister David Cameron walks into 10 Downing Street, London, with wife Samantha after he announced his resignation after Britain voted to leave the European Union in an historic referendum which has thrown Westminster politics into disarray and sent the pound tumbling on the world markets. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday June 24, 2016. See PA story POLITICS EU. Photo credit should read: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire
Police break up a crowd blocking Boris Johnson's car from leaving his street in north London, after David Cameron announced he will quit as Prime Minister by October following a humiliating defeat in the referendum which ended with a vote for Britain to leave the European Union. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday June 24, 2016. See PA story POLITICS EU. Photo credit should read: Ryan Wilkinson/PA Wire
Former London Mayor, and "Vote Leave" campaigner Boris Johnson leaves his home in London on June 24, 2016 after Britain voted to leave the European Union (EU). Britain voted to break away from the European Union on June 24, toppling Prime Minister David Cameron and dealing a thunderous blow to the 60-year-old bloc that sent world markets plunging. / AFP PHOTO / JUSTIN TALLISJUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 24: Jeremy Corbyn MP, leader of the Labour Party, walks towards the Houses of Parliament on June 24, 2016 in London, United Kingdom. The result from the historic EU referendum has now been declared and the United Kingdom has voted to LEAVE the European Union. (Photo by Rob Stothard/Getty Images)
Ukip leader Nigel Farage greets his supporters on College Green in Westminster, London, after Britain voted to leave the European Union in an historic referendum which has thrown Westminster politics into disarray and sent the pound tumbling on the world markets. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday June 24, 2016. See PA story POLITICS EU. Photo credit should read: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire
Boris Johnson and Michael Gove (right) hold a press conference at Brexit HQ in Westminster, London, after David Cameron has announced he will quit as Prime Minister by October following a humiliating defeat in the referendum which ended with a vote for Britain to leave the European Union. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday June 24, 2016. See PA story POLITICS EU. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
Presumptive Republican nominee for US president Donald Trumpwaves with his daughter Ivanka Trump on June 24, 2016 in Ayr, Scotland. Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
US presidential hopeful Donald Trump, with his daughter Ivanka and son Eric (left) at his revamped Trump Turnberry golf course in South Ayrshire. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday June 24, 2016. Trump will cut the ribbon at the resort he purchased two years ago which has undergone a £200 million refurbishment. See PA story POLITICS Trump. Photo credit should read: Jane Barlow/PA Wire
TV OUT. ALL BROADCAST WEBSITES OUT. No cropping permitted. Picture must be credited to Sky News. We are advised that videograbs should not be used more than 48 hours after the time of original transmission, without the consent of the copyright holder. Video grab taken from Sky News of First Minister Nicola Sturgeon during a press conference at Bute House in Edinburgh, where she confirmed that the Scottish Government will draw up legislation to allow a second independence referendum to be held. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Friday June 24, 2016. See PA story POLITICS EU Scotland. Photo credit should read: Sky News/PA Wire
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th June 2016 First Minister Arlene Foster is pictured on a phone call at 11.20am today speaking with Prime Minister David Cameron in her office at Stormont Castle, Belfast this morning after the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. Photo by Press Eye
Alan Lewis- PhotopressBelfast.co.uk 24-6-2016 Northern Ireland First Minister Arlene Foster speaking at Stormont Castle this afternoon on the Brexit vote in the European Union Referendum on membership of the EU.
Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny speaks during a press conference in Dublin, after Britain voted to leave the European Union in an historic referendum which has thrown Westminster politics into disarray and sent the pound tumbling on the world markets. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday June 24, 2016. See PA story POLITICS EU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Alan Lewis- PhotopressBelfast.co.uk 24-6-2016 Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness with Gerry Adams and Sinn Fein Ministers speaking at Stormont Castle this afternoon on the Brexit vote in the European Union Referendum on membership of the EU.
PACEMAKER BELFAST 24/06/2016 Democratic imperative for border poll Adams Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD speaking at Stormont Castle today along with First Minister Martin McGuinness and other Executive Ministers said: There is an onus on the British government to respect the democratic wishes of the people of the north.   The Taoiseach has to think nationally in a real sense. The Irish government needs an all-island, all-Ireland view. The referendum result will have very profound effects for all of us on this island. There are real worries it will have an adverse impact on the two economies on this island. This will have serious consequences for jobs and investment and for families and communities.
UK London 24 June 2016 -- A group of young school students from Oxford protest opposite the Parliament against the fact that as 16 and 17 years old they weren't allowed to vote in the referendum. The posters read 'Where was my vote' and 'Please Sir can we have a voice? Let 16/17 yr olds vote' The day after the EU Referendum in which the majority of Britain decided to leave the EU, sees Leave and Stay supporters out in the streets of London -- Picture by Michael Debets/Atlas Photo Archive

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How the UK voted in 2016 EU referendum [infographic]

First Minister Arlene Foster: 'Our nation is safe and Northern Ireland will be front and centre of Brexit negotiations' 

Sinn Fein calls for border poll on united Ireland after Brexit win in EU referendum

Brexit: Efforts underway to recall Northern Ireland Assembly for an urgent meeting  

While the UK voted in favour of Leave, the majority of Northern Ireland votes opted for Remain.

The result has sent shockwaves through financial markets and the political sphere with Prime Minister David Cameron announcing his decision to resign.

Boris Johnson has paid tribute to David Cameron as "one of the most extraordinary politicians of our age" following the Prime Minister's decision to step down after the Brexit vote.

The former London mayor, standard bearer for the Vote Leave campaign, said Mr Cameron was a "brave and principled man" who had given "superb leadership".

Giving his reaction to the Leave camp's victory, Mr Johnson insisted that the Brexit vote "does not mean that the United Kingdom will be in any way less united" or "less European".

In a speech at Vote Leave's headquarters in London, he said: "I believe the British people have spoken up for democracy in Britain and across Europe and I think we can be very proud of the result."

Pressure is also mounting on Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. Sky is reporting that the Parliamentary Labour Party is sounding out support for a leadership challenge.

Prime Minister David Cameron's resignation speech in full  

David Cameron will go down in history as the Prime Minister who killed his country  

>>How did your constituency vote - from Foyle to East Belfast<<

Mr Cameron said he accepted the decision of the electorate, which voted by 52% to 48% to quit the EU.

Supporters of the Stronger In campaign react after hearing results in the EU referendum at London's Royal Festival Hall.
Supporters of the Stronger In campaign react after hearing results in the EU referendum at London's Royal Festival Hall.
Sinn Fein MEP for Northern Ireland, Martina Anderson, at the Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast, for the counting of the votes in the EU referendum.
British comedian Eddie Izzard joins supporters of the Stronger In Campaign gather to wait for the result of the EU referendum at a results party at the Royal Festival Hall in London early in the morning of June 24, 2016.
Nigel Farage speaks to journalists at the Leave.EU referendum party at Millbank Tower in central London on June 23 2016
Leave.EU supporters wave Union flags and cheer as the results come in at the Leave.EU referendum party at Millbank Tower in central London early in the morning of June 24, 2016.
Remain supporters at the Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast, after polls closed in the EU referendum.
Leave supporters at the Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast, after polls closed in the EU referendum.
Caroline Wilson of Belfast City Council speaking with DUP MLA for Belfast South Christopher Stalford at the Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast, after polls closed in the EU referendum.
Counting continues at Titanic Exhibition Centre as SDLP's Alban Maginness and Clare Hanna discuss progress
Titanic Count Centre - Belfast former Justice Minister David Forde
Counting at Titanic Exhibition Centre
Counting at Titanic Exhibition Centre as local politicians keep a close watch on progress
Supporters of the Stronger In Campaign gather to wait for the result of the EU referendum at a results party at the Royal Festival Hall in London on June 23, 2016.
SUNDERLAND, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 24: Leave campaigners celebrate as they win the vote in Sunderland during the North East region European Union referendum count on June 24, 2016 in Sunderland, United Kingdom.
The first box of votes is opened at Titanic Belfast
The first Ballot Boxes are opened in the Foyle Arena in Derry-Londonderry last night shortly after the polls closed in the Brexit referendum. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 23.06.16
SDLP Party Leader Colm Eastwood and Remain campaigner arrives at the count centre in the Foyle Arena in Derry-Londonderry. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 23.06.16
Boris Johnson and his wife Marina leave after casting their votes at Hanover Primary School in north London, as voters head to the polls across the UK in a historic referendum on whether the UK should remain a member of the European Union or leave.
A man accompanied by his dog laughs as he exits a polling station after voting in the EU referendum on June 23, 2016 in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
A dog is tied to railings outside a polling station waiting for its owner to cast their vote on the EU Referendum on June 23, 2016 in Saltburn-by-the-Sea, United Kingdom. The United Kingdom has gone to the polls to decide whether or not the country wishes to remain within the European Union. After a hard fought campaign from both REMAIN and LEAVE the vote is too close to call. A result on the referendum is expected on Friday morning. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)
REDCAR, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 23: A man walks his dog from a polling station in a Youth Community Centre as voters head to the polls to cast their vote on the EU Referendum on June 23, 2016 in Redcar, United Kingdom. The United Kingdom is going to the polls to decide whether or not the country wishes to remain within the European Union. After a hard fought campaign from both REMAIN and LEAVE the vote is too close to call. A result on the referendum is expected on Friday morning. Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)
REDCAR, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 23: A dog plays on the grass next to a polling station sign attached to railings in Redcar as voters head to the polls to cast their vote on the EU Referendum on June 23, 2016 in Redcar, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)
SALTBURN-BY-THE-SEA, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 23: A dog is tied to railings outside a polling station waiting for its owner to cast their vote on the EU Referendum on June 23, 2016 in Saltburn-by-the-Sea, United Kingdom. The United Kingdom has gone to the polls to decide whether or not the country wishes to remain within the European Union. After a hard fought campaign from both REMAIN and LEAVE the vote is too close to call. A result on the referendum is expected on Friday morning. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)
A woman waits with her dog outside a polling station in Little Milton on June 23, 2016. Millions of Britons began voting today in a bitterly-fought, knife-edge referendum that could tear up the island nation's EU membership and spark the greatest emergency of the bloc's 60-year history. / AFP PHOTO / ADRIAN DENNISADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images
GLASGOW, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 23: Duke, an eight week old Labrador Collie sits in a basket with his owner's EU referendum polling card outside Notre Dame Primary School polling station on June 23, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. The United Kingdom has gone to the polls to decide whether or not the country wishes to remain within the European Union. After a hard fought campaign from both REMAIN and LEAVE the vote is too close to call. A result on the referendum is expected on Friday morning. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Father Peter Burn of Clonard Monastery leaving Springvale Employment and Learning Solutions polling station in West Belfast as voters head to the polls across the UK in a historic referendum on whether the UK should remain a member of the European Union or leave. Liam McBurney/PA Wire
©Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 23rd May 2016 First Minister Arlene Foster pictured at the polling station at Brookeborough Primary School Picture by Andrew Paton/Press Eye.com
WESTERHAM, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 23: Nigel Farage, leader of UKIP and Vote Leave campaigner, poses for photographs after registering his vote in the UK's EU referendum, at his local polling station Cudham Church of England Primary School on June 23, 2016 in Westerham, England. The United Kingdom has gone to the polls to decide whether or not the country wishes to remain within the European Union. After a hard fought campaign from both REMAIN and LEAVE the vote is too close to call. A result on the referendum is expected on Friday morning. (Photo by Mary Turner/Getty Images)
WESTERHAM, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 23: Nigel Farage, leader of UKIP and Vote Leave campaigner, talks to the media outside his local polling station, Cudham Church of England Primary School, after registering his vote in the EU referendum on June 23, 2016 in Westerham, England. The United Kingdom has gone to the polls to decide whether or not the country wishes to remain within the European Union. After a hard fought campaign from both REMAIN and LEAVE the vote is too close to call. A result on the referendum is expected on Friday morning. (Photo by Mary Turner/Getty Images)
People queuing outside a polling station in Battersea, London, this morning, as voters go the polls in the EU referendum. Rebecca Soni/PA Wire
A polling station being used in the EU referendum at Batley Town Hall in the constituency Labour MP Jo Cox. Cox, 41, died after being shot and stabbed in the street outside her constituency surgery in Birstall, near Leeds. Danny Lawson/PA Wire
Chelsea pensioners are reflected in a puddle of rain water as they leave after being ushered into a polling station to cast their ballot papers at the Royal Hospital in Chelsea, west London on June 23, 2016, as Britain holds a referendum to vote on whether to remain in, or to leave the European Union (EU). / AFP PHOTO / LEON NEALLEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images
A Chelsea pensioner uses a smartphone to photgraph the media as he arrives at a poling station to cast his ballot paper at the Royal Hospital in Chelsea, west London on June 23, 2016, as Britain holds a referendum to vote on whether to remain in, or to leave the European Union (EU). / AFP PHOTO / LEON NEALLEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images
Chelsea pensioners are ushered into a polling station to cast their ballot papers at the Royal Hospital in Chelsea, west London on June 23, 2016, as Britain holds a referendum to vote on whether to remain in, or to leave the European Union (EU). Millions of Britons began voting Thursday in a bitterly-fought, knife-edge referendum that could tear up the island nation's EU membership and spark the greatest emergency of the bloc's 60-year history. / AFP PHOTO / LEON NEALLEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images
British Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife Samantha leave after casting their votes in the EU referendum, at a polling station in London on June 23, 2016. Millions of Britons began voting Thursday in a bitterly-fought, knife-edge referendum that could tear up the island nation's EU membership and spark the greatest emergency of the bloc's 60-year history. / AFP PHOTO / LEON NEALLEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn walks with Labour Party activists as he leaves his home to cast his vote at a polling station at Pakeman Primary School in Islington on June 23, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - JUNE 23: SNP Leader Nicola Sturgeon casts her vote in the EU referendum at Broomhouse Community Hall on June 23, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. Voters across the country are beginning to cast their votes in the referendum on whether the UK should leave the European Union or remain. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Millions of Britons began voting today in a bitterly-fought, knife-edge referendum that could tear up the island nation's EU membership and spark the greatest emergency of the bloc's 60-year history. / AFP PHOTO / Robert PerryROBERT PERRY/AFP/Getty Images
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - JUNE 23: SNP Leader Nicola Sturgeon casts her vote in the EU referendum with her husband Peter Murrel at Broomhouse Community Hall on June 23, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. Voters across the country are beginning to cast their votes in the referendum on whether the UK should leave the European Union or remain. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Daisy Treasure, one, outside a polling station in Newbury Park, near Ilford in Essex, as voters head to the polls across the UK in a historic referendum on whether the UK should remain a member of the European Union or leave. Ella Pickover/PA Wire
A polling station being used in the EU referendum at Birstall library, West Yorkshire, near where Labour MP Jo Cox was attacked and killed outside her constituency surgery. Danny Lawson/PA Wire
A police officer stands outside a polling station being used in the EU referendum at Birstall library, West Yorkshire, near where Labour MP Jo Cox was attacked and killed outside her constituency surgery. Danny Lawson/PA Wire
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn leaves after casting his vote at a polling station in Islington, London, as voters head to the polls across the UK in a historic referendum on whether the UK should remain a member of the European Union or leave. Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire
Scotland's First Minister and Leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP), Nicola Sturgeon, poses for photographers as leaves after voting at a polling station at Broomhouse Community Hall in east Glasgow, on June 23, 2016, as Britain holds a referendum on whether to stay or leave the European Union (EU). / AFP PHOTO / Robert PerryROBERT PERRY/AFP/Getty Images
Nuns leave after casting their votes at a polling station in London, on June 23, 2016, as Britain holds a referendum on whether to stay or leave the European Union (EU). Millions of Britons began voting Thursday in a bitterly-fought, knife-edge referendum that could tear up the island nation's EU membership and spark the greatest emergency of the bloc's 60-year history. / AFP PHOTO / JUSTIN TALLISJUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images
GIBRALTAR - JUNE 23: Gibraltar Chief Minister Fabian Picardo and his wife Justine vote in the EU Referendum at a polling station on June 23, 2016 in Gibraltar, Gibraltar. The United Kingdom and its dependant territories are going to the polls today to decide whether or not the the United Kingdom will remain in the European Union. After a hard fought campaign from both REMAIN and LEAVE the vote is expected to be very close. A result on the referendum is expected on Friday morning. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
GIBRALTAR - JUNE 23: Gibraltar Chief Minister Fabian Picardo and his wife Justine depart after voting in the EU Referendum at a polling station on June 23, 2016 in Gibraltar, Gibraltar. The United Kingdom and its dependant territories are going to the polls today to decide whether or not the the United Kingdom will remain in the European Union. After a hard fought campaign from both REMAIN and LEAVE the vote is expected to be very close. A result on the referendum is expected on Friday morning. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
Prime Minister David Cameron and wife Samantha arrive to cast their votes at a polling station in Westminster, London, as voters head to the polls across the UK in a historic referendum on whether the UK should remain a member of the European Union or leave. Anthony Devlin/PA Wire
Poll clerk Lana Kernan setting out the Polling Station sign at the Springvale Employment and Learning Solutions polling station in west Belfast, as voters go to the polls in the EU referendum. Liam McBurney/PA Wire
Prime Minister David Cameron and wife Samantha arrive to cast their votes at a polling station in Westminster, London, as voters head to the polls across the UK in a historic referendum on whether the UK should remain a member of the European Union or leave. Anthony Devlin/PA Wire
Father Peter Burn of Clonard Monastery entering Springvale Employment and Learning Solutions polling station in West Belfast as voters head to the polls across the UK in a historic referendum on whether the UK should remain a member of the European Union or leave.Liam McBurney/PA Wire
The Polling Station sign at the Springvale Employment and Learning Solutions polling station in west Belfast, as voters go the the polls in the EU referendum. Liam McBurney/PA Wire
Polling stations open across Northern Ireland as voting begins in the UK's referendum on remaining in the European Union. Voters cast their vote at Moneyrea Primary School polling station in Co. Down. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Polling stations open across Northern Ireland as voting begins in the UK's referendum on remaining in the European Union. Voters cast their vote at Moneyrea Primary School polling station in Co. Down. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Polling stations open across Northern Ireland as voting begins in the UK's referendum on remaining in the European Union. Voters cast their vote at Moneyrea Primary School polling station in Co. Down. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Polling stations open across Northern Ireland as voting begins in the UK's referendum on remaining in the European Union. Voters cast their vote at Moneyrea Primary School polling station in Co. Down. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Polling stations open across Northern Ireland as voting begins in the UK's referendum on remaining in the European Union. Voters cast their vote at Moneyrea Primary School polling station in Co. Down. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Polling stations open across Northern Ireland as voting begins in the UK's referendum on remaining in the European Union. Voters cast their vote at Moneyrea Primary School polling station in Co. Down. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Polling stations open across Northern Ireland as voting begins in the UK's referendum on remaining in the European Union. Voters cast their vote at Moneyrea Primary School polling station in Co. Down. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

He said he would leave it to his successor to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which kicks off the two-year process of negotiating a new trade relationship with the UK's former partners.

"The country requires fresh leadership to take it in this direction," said Mr Cameron. "I will do everything I can as Prime Minister to steady the ship over the coming weeks and months, but I don't think it would be right for me to try to be the captain that steers our country to its next destination."

A clearly emotional Mr Cameron said he stood by his assertion that the UK could "find a way" to survive outside the EU.

"Now the decision has been made to leave we need to find the best way and I will do everything I can to help," he said.

Minutes after the PM's statement, Bank of England governor Mark Carney announced he was making £250 billion available to support markets, as he pledged that the Bank "will not hesitate to take additional measures as required as markets adjust and the UK economy moves forward".

His announcement will trigger a battle for the Conservative leadership - and the keys to Number 10 - likely to feature Brexit standard-bearer Boris Johnson taking on figures such as Home Secretary Theresa May, who took a low profile in the referendum campaign.

Boris heckled

An angry crowd labelled Boris Johnson a "twat" and "scum" as he emerged from his London home following the Leave campaign's historic victory in the EU referendum.

The prominent Brexiteer was heckled on his way to the Vote Leave headquarters.

Mr Johnson said nothing to the dozens of journalists waiting outside his home when he finally left, flanked by several police officers who escorted him to a waiting car.

One member of the public was heard to shout "twat" before a short time later Mr Johnson's car was trapped by a crowd of around 40 cyclists and onlookers blocking a junction.

His vehicle was halted for around five minutes and police officers, who had been guarding his home, were nowhere to be seen.

The crowd taunted him with shouts of "where are you going, Boris?" and "scum!" and hurled other profanities as his car was trapped in front of a green light, unable to move.

One man yelled: "The pound is down, what do you say about that? Is it going to be all right, Boris? Is the UK going to be all right, Boris? Are we going to be all right, mate? Come on, man up."

Although the crowds had Mr Johnson's car stuck in the road, they did not appear to approach it.

Officers eventually arrived at the junction around 200 metres from his house, where they had been controlling a media scrum and crowds of onlookers.

There were cries of "shame" as the car, with tinted windows, was eventually freed and moved off.

Mr Johnson eventually arrived at Leave headquarters on the Embankment at around 10am but swept in through a back entrance, avoiding dozens of press reporters, photographers and video journalists who had been braced to expect his arrival at the front of the building.

Shock

The Prime Minister's decision to step down is "truly shocking" and a "sad day for the country", ministers have said.

David Cameron's Cabinet colleagues said they had hoped he would stay on to steer Britain through its renegotiations with the EU.

Speaking on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme, Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers said: "It's truly shocking news, I think it's deeply saddening.

"As I was just saying only a few minutes ago, I would very much have preferred David Cameron to be steering this country through the next few years.

"I entirely respect his decision but I think it is a sad day for the country that he has decided to stand down."

Her sentiments were echoed by Defence Secretary Michael Fallon, who said the PM believed he was doing the "honourable thing" after the referendum vote.

He told the Today programme: "Well of course it is extremely sad news. I would have preferred him to have stayed on and to have helped make this decision work, but it's his decision.

"I think he feels it is the honourable thing to do, the decent thing to do - he lost the argument in the referendum campaign."

Asked who he thought might replace the PM and lead the renegotiations, he said: "That is matter now for the party to elect a new prime minister to be in place for the autumn and to take that forward.

"I think it is a bit too early to start speculating about that, and there is plenty to do now to help make this decision work, to stabilise our economy, to reassure our allies and to continue the programme we were all elected on last year."

n Brussels and capitals around Europe, political leaders and officials went into emergency meetings to plan a response to the UK's seismic decisions, which sent shockwaves around the world.

European Council president Donald Tusk said there was "no way of predicting all the political consequences of this event, especially for the UK" and called for calm.

"It is a historic moment but for sure not a moment for hysterical reactions," he said.

Mr Cameron said he had summoned the Cabinet to meet on Monday, the day before he goes to Brussels for a summit where he will "explain the decision the British people have taken and my own decision" to leaders of the remaining 27 member states.

Announcing his resignation after six years as PM - and just 13 months after securing an absolute majority for the first time - was "not a decision I have taken lightly", said Mr Cameron.

But he added: "I do believe it is in the national interest to have a period of stability and then the new leadership required.

"There is no need for a precise timetable today, but in my view we should aim to have a new prime minister in place by the start of the Conservative Party conference in October."

He went on: "The negotiation with the European Union will need to begin under a new prime minister and I think it is right that this new prime minister takes the decision about when to trigger Article 50 and start the formal and legal process of leaving the EU."

Remain supporters had to respect the people's decision and "help to make it work", said the PM

Independence day

Ukip leader Nigel Farage declared that June 23 should "go down in history as our independence day", while Vote Leave's chair, the Labour MP Gisela Stuart, said it was "our opportunity to take back control of a whole area of democratic decisions".

Sterling suffered one of its biggest plunges in the overnight markets, hitting lows last seen in 1985 and losing more than 10% against the US dollar, as traders responded with panic to the prospect of the UK quitting the European Union after 43 years.

As polling stations closed at 10pm on Thursday with polls still predicting a Remain victory, 84 pro-Leave Tories - including Boris Johnson and Michael Gove - handed over a letter to Mr Cameron urging him to stay on as leader whatever the result of the referendum.

But as Leave built an increasingly unassailable lead as the night wore on, with victories in the Tory English shires, Labour strongholds in the north, Wales and midlands, others in his party raised questions about Mr Cameron's future.

Belfast Telegraph

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