David Cameron was elected in 2015 on a promise of delivering an election of Britain’s future in the European Union. A staunch Europhile himself, Mr Cameron admitted there needed to be changes but campaigned on the side of Remain in the run up to the June 23, 2016 vote. The now 52-year-old was confident of his victory – but saw it slide out of his grasp in the final hours as the results trickled in, swinging the vote to Leave by 52 percent against 48 percent.
David Cameron stood down – saying he was unable to govern when he was so opposed to the outcome of this vote.
Now, three years on, he has revealed what really went on behind the scenes on that fateful day.
And one of the most spurring admissions of all is to do with his wife, Samantha Cameron.
Writing in his new autobiography, the Tory politician explained how Sam Cam got through his resignation speech – all thanks to a “stiff gin” at 8am.
Mr Cameron wrote: “On polling day, Samantha and I went to vote at Methodist Central Hall. The City was broadly calling it for remain. Crosby told me it was going to be OK. Our pollster, Andrew Cooper, reported a 10-point lead for remain.
“Craig Oliver, Number 10’s director of communications, was charging around in a “Stronger in” T-shirt, saying we’d won.
“My draft victory speech was an “open, comprehensive and generous offer” to the nation for a way forward: a route map for healing our divided country after a brutal campaign, and an assurance that we would heed the message from millions of leave voters that the status quo with the EU was no longer acceptable.
“I thought how dramatically my political life expectancy had been reduced by the brutal campaign.
“I had already confessed to my core team that I’d probably have to go within a couple of years, even if we won.
“The first results seemed to be all right. I thought, “This is going OK”. But then Sunderland declared for leave by a huge margin. At 2am, results poured in from a cross-section of the country.
“’Dad,’ said my 12-year-old daughter Nancy. ‘We’re losing.’
“I lay on the sofa, knowing I wouldn’t sleep. It was clear to me that I would have to resign. Staying on would simply be delaying the acceptance of a political death that had already taken place.
“So why had I promised I would stay on if we lost? If I had admitted that there was any chance of my stepping down if remain lost, I would have jeopardised the referendum entirely.
“Resigning meant going back on my word. But whichever way I looked at it, I was convinced Britain needed a new prime minister.
“I had a shower and came back downstairs just before 6am. Everything had been planned very calmly. Samantha and I would go out into Downing Street together.
“She said, ‘I just don’t think I can go out there — I feel terrible’, and had a stiff gin at 10 past eight, just before we walked, hand in hand, out into the daylight and a wall of cameras.”