David Cameron, MP for Witney since 2001, became leader of the Conservative Party on 6 December 2005. Under his stewardship, the Tories broadened their appeal, shaking off their image as the Nasty Party, a term popularised by Theresa May. David Cameron's Conservatives trumpeted their Green credentials and their support for liberal social issues such as gay equality. The Labour Party's popularity dwindled under Prime Minister Gordon Brown, partly thanks to the global recession that started in 2008.

After failing to win an outright majority in the 2010 general election, the Tories had an uneasy five years of coalition government with the Liberal Democrats. Cameron appointed Nick Clegg, Lib Dem leader, to the role of deputy prime minister. The five years of coalition government wasn't always cordial. They clashed on austerity as the government introduced the deepest cuts to public spending for a generation. Cameron defended the plan throughout his tenure and was insistent that tough economic measures applied by his chancellor George Osborne had helped drive the UK economy from recession to growth.

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6 December 2005: Newly-elected leader of the Conservative Party David Cameron kisses his wife Samantha after giving his acceptance speech in London. The 39-year-old MP for Witney beat rival David Davis by 134,446 votes to 64,398 in a postal ballot of Tory members across the UKPeter Macdiarmid/Getty Images
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20 April 2006: David Cameron, the leader of Britain's Conservative Party, visits the Scott-Turner glacier on the island of Svalbard, Norway, to see the effects of climate changeAndrew Parsons
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29 April 2010: Opposition Conservative Party leader David Cameron, Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg and Prime Minister Gordon Brown take part in the third and final televised party leaders' election campaign debate in BirminghamJeff Overs/BBC
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7 May 2010: Conservative Party leader David Cameron celebrates retaining his seat in Witney with Monster Raving Looony William Hill Party candidate Alan Hope. However, as the results came in, it became clear Britain was facing the prospect of a hung parliament for the first time since 1974Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images
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12 May 2010: Prime Minister David Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg wave on the steps of 10 Downing Street after the Liberal Democrats agreed to form Britain's first coalition government since 1945Cathal McNaughton/Reuters
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13 May 2010: The new cabinet (front row L-R) Iain Duncan Smith, Liam Fox, George Osborne, William Hague, David Cameron, Nick Clegg, Sayeeda Warsi, Cheryl Gillan, Caroline Spelman, Ken Clarke, David Laws. (Back rows L-R) Patrick McLoughlin, Theresa May, David Willetts, Oliver Letwin, Vince Cable, Francis Maude, Eric Piccles, Tom Strathclyde, Andrew Lansley, George Young, Michael Gove, Andrew Mitchell, Philip Hammond, Chris Huhne, Jeremy Hunt, Owen Paterson, Danny Alexander, Dominic Grieve and Gus O'Donnell pose for a group picture in the garden of number 10 Downing Street after their first cabinet meetingAndrew Winning/Reuters
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28 August 2010: Prime Minister David Cameron holds his baby daughter, Florence Cameron, who was born on 24 August during the Camerons' summer holiday in CornwallStefan Rousseau
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29 March 2011: Prime Minister David Cameron walks with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton inside 10 Downing Street, ahead of a summit to dicuss action against Libyan leader Muammar GaddafiSuzanne Plunkett/Reuters
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24 May 2011: US President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron play table tennis against students at the Globe Academy in LondonLarry Downing/Reuters
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8 July 2011: Prime Minister David Cameron holds a press conference at 10 Downing Street as former News of the World editor and Mr Cameron's former director of communications Andy Coulson was due to attend a police station for questioning over alleged phone hacking during his time as editor at the News of The WorldPeter Macdiarmid/Getty Images
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9 August 2011: Prime Minister David Cameron talks to Acting Borough Commander Superintendent Jo Oakley during a visit to Croydon to view the destruction from the previous night's violence. The Prime Minister arrived back from his summer holiday and recalled parliament to debate the London riotsStefan Rousseau
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14 November 2011: Prime Minister David Cameron addresses the Lord Mayor's Banquet at the Guildhall in LondonDan Kitwood/Getty Images

Foreign policy under the Cameron government included starting to withdraw British troops from Afghanistan, where the prime minister made frequent visits to Camp Bastion, the British base in the troubled Helmand Province. British troops were also part of joint efforts with France and Libyan rebels to overthrow Colonel Gaddafi, along with a failed parliamentary vote supported by the prime minister on undertaking military action in Syria to remove President Bashar al-Assad. Cameron continued Britain's "special relationship" with the United States, proving to be a valuable ally of President Obama.

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15 September 2011: France's President Nicolas Sarkozy, Libya's National Transitional Council head Mustafa Abdul Jalil and Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron join hands triumphantly in Benghazi during the first visit by foreign leaders since the toppling of Muammar Gaddafi's regimePhilippe Wojazer/Reuters
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20 December 2011: Prime Minister David Cameron meets with British soldiers in the NAFI at Kandahar airfield during an unannounced visit to Afghanistan ahead of ChristmasJeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
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13 March 2012: US President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron eat hot dogs as they watch basketball at University of Dayton Arena in Dayton, OhioJim Watson/AFP
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8 May 2012: Prime Minister David Cameron listens to Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg speak during a meeting at CNH Tractors in BasildonSuzanne Plunkett/Reuters
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26 May 2012: Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife Samantha have a drink by a beach during their holiday in IbizaStefan Rousseau
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24 July 2012: Her Majesty the Queen poses for a photograph with Prime Minister David Cameron and former Prime Ministers John Major, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown at 10 Downing Street where they had lunch to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.Stefan Rousseau/Pool
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27 July 2012: Kate Middleton and Prime Minister David Cameron watch the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic GamesReuters
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24 August 2012: Prime Minister David Cameron stands with London Mayor Boris Johnson as the cauldron is lit for the Paralympic Games in Trafalgar SquarePeter Macdiarmid/Getty Images
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10 October 2012: Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife Samantha kiss following his keynote speech at the Conservative Party conference in BirminghamToby Melville/Reuters
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13 May 2013: A tear tuns down the face of US President Barack Obama as he talks about the attack on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, during a joint news conference with Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron in the East Room of the White HouseJim Bourg/Reuters
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29 June 2013: Prime Minister David Cameron is shown a remote-controlled surveillance aircraft during a visit to Camp Bastion in Helmand province during an unannounced visit to Afghanistan as the Nato military coalition hands responsibility over to local forcesLeon Neal/AFP

Cameron played a part in persuading the Scots to vote against independence. He helped lead the charge for the ultimately successful 'No' campaign, when with just a week to go until the vote, the polls seemed to suggest that Scotland's electorate would vote in favour of independence.

In an attempt to win over Eurosceptics within his own party and to head off threats at the ballot box from Nigel Farage's eurosceptic UKIP, Cameron pledged that if he won the election in 2015, he would hold a referendum on Britain's EU membership. In May 2015 Cameron's Conservative party defied all the pollsters predictions and were swept to power in a majority government.

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27 May 2014: Prime Minister David Cameron visits a construction site in London. He called for reform within the EU following the European elections that resulted in significant gains for Eurosceptic parties in several countries across the continentAndrew Winning/Reuters
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15 September 2014: Prime Minister David Cameron speaks in Aberdeen as polls in Scotland's independence referendum put the 'No' campaign back in the leadPeter Macdiarmid/Getty Images
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19 September 2014: Prime Minister David Cameron gives a press conference outside 10 Downing Street after Scotland voted to remain in the United KingdomDan Kitwood/Getty Images
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26 March 2015: Prime Minister David Cameron is interviewed by Jeremy Paxman during the filming of Cameron & Miliband; The Battle For Number 10Stefan Rousseau
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5 April 2015: Leader of the Conservative Party David Cameron feeds orphaned lambs on Dean Lane farm near Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, during an election campaign stopLeon Neal/AFP
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6 April 2015: Prime Minister David Cameron eats a hot dog with a knife and fork during an election campaign stop near Poole, DorsetKirsty Wigglesworth
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8 April 2015: Prime Minister David Cameron reads a book to Lucy Howarth, 6, and Joshua Davies, 5, during an election campaign visit to Sacred Heart RC primary school in Westhoughton near Bolton, Greater ManchesterKirsty Wigglesworth
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8 May 2015: Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife Samantha are applauded by staff upon reentering 10 Downing Street for his second term as Prime MinisterStefan Rousseau
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8 May 2015: Labour leader Ed Miliband, Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg and Prime Minister David Cameron attend a tribute at the Cenotaph to begin three days of national commemorations to mark the 70th anniversary of VE Day. Both Miliband and Clegg said they will resign their posts as party leaders after they were soundly beaten by Cameron and his Conservative Party in the general electionChip Somodevilla/Getty Images
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29 May 2015: German Chancellor Angela Merkel kisses British Prime Minister David Cameron in front of the Chancellery in Berlin while Cameron was on a two-day tour of European capitals in a bid to secure EU reforms as his government published a law paving the way for a vote on whether Britain should leaveJohn MacDougall/AFP
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14 September 2015: Prime Minister David Cameron meets Syrian refugee families at a settlement camp in the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon, on the Syrian borderStefan Rousseau
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22 October 2015: China's President Xi Jinping and Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron drink a pint of beer during a visit to the The Plough in Princes Risborough, BuckinghamshireKirsty Wigglesworth
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28 December 2015: Prime Minister David Cameron meets soldiers working on flood relief in York city centre after the river Ouse burst its banksDarren Staples/Reuters
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29 January 2016: British Prime Minister David Cameron is welcomed by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in BrusselsYves Herman/Reuters
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20 February 2016: Prime Minister David Cameron speaks outside 10 Downing Street, announcing that a referendum on Britain's membership of the European Union would be held on 23 JuneToby Melville/Reuters

In February 2016, after months of negotiations, Cameron felt he had secured enough EU reforms to announce a referendum on 23 June. The cabinet and the Conservative party were split on the issue, pitting Tory heavy-hitters like Boris Johnson and Michael Gove against their own prime minister.

An intense and often bitter campaign followed, with the Remain side, driven by Cameron and Osborne, accused of conducting "Project Fear" with predictions of economic meltdown if Britain voted to the leave the EU. Ultimately they were unsuccessful and on 24 June, the result of the previous day's referendum was announced − 47% voted to stay and 52% to leave. Although he had often pledged to carry on as prime minister even if he lost the referendum, he resigned the day the results were made clear.

Instead of a summer of campaigning among Conservative contenders for leader, they fell very quickly, leaving Home Secretary Theresa May the only one standing. On Monday 11 July 2016 Cameron told the nation he would attend Prime Minister's Questions in the Commons on Wednesday 13 July, before going to see the Queen to officially hand over the reins to May. As Cameron walked back into 10 Downing Street, he was caught humming a ditty and exclaiming "Right!", as he disappeared behind the famous black door.

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22 June 2016: Prime Minister David Cameron travels on his campaign bus from Bristol during the final day of campaigning as the country prepares to go to the polls to decide whether Britain should leave the European UnionGeoff Caddick/Getty Images
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23 June 2016: Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife Samantha smile as they leave a polling station in London after voting in the EU referendumStefan Wermuth/Reuters
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24 June 2016: Samantha Cameron watches as her husband announces his resignation after Britain voted to leave the European UnionStefan Wermuth/Reuters
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11 July 2016: David Cameron goes back into 10 Downing Street, humming an unknown tune, after announcing that Theresa May would take over from him in just two days' timePeter Nicholls/Reuters

On 13 July, David Cameron left Downing Street for his final Prime Minister's Questions before travelling to Buckingham Palace to formally offer his resignation to the Queen. Cameron will be succeeded by Theresa May, who will become Britain's second woman prime minister, after Margaret Thatcher. May faces the daunting task of forming a government to tackle the monumental challenge of extricating Britain from the European Union and uniting a fractured nation.