David Cameron will not resign as prime minister before the next general election takes place in 2020, a Downing Street source has said. They reiterated Cameron's stance before May's nationwide vote, when the Conservative leader said he intends to serve a full second term.
"Mr Cameron has chosen a date for his departure: his closest allies in Downing Street have been told that he intends to announce he's leaving in the spring of 2019," an article in The Spectator said. "The Tory leadership race would then take place over the summer, with the new leader introducing themself to the country at the party conference that autumn."
This has been dismissed by a government source, who said: "The PM has been clear and unequivocal on this. He'll serve a full term − that's a matter of public record and that remains the case."
In the run-up to the general election, Cameron ruled out serving for a third time. "I've said I'll stand for a full second term, but I think after that it will be time for new leadership," he said. "Terms are like Shredded Wheat: two are wonderful but three might just be too many."
The prime minister went on to name three potential successors who would provide "a fresh pair of eyes". He named Home Secretary Theresa May, Chancellor George Osborne and Mayor of London Boris Johnson as the most likely candidates to replace him. Last night (30 September), however, Education Secretary Nicky Morgan became the first cabinet minister to publicly say that she could run for the Tory leadership when Cameron steps down.
"A lot of it will depend on family," she told The Spectator, when asked if she will put herself forward for the party's leadership. "I'd be saying this if I was male or female − in the sense that being leader of the party is so all-consuming, putting such a pressure on family relationships."
The former corporate lawyer and Loughborough MP is ranked behind Osborne, Johnson, May, Sajid Javid, Philip Hammond, Jeremy Hunt and Michael Gove in the race to succeed Cameron, according to betting odds.