I have spent 20 years campaigning for a referendum on our relationship with the European Union. David Cameron was the only politician brave enough to give the voters that referendum.

There was a long and robust debate. I made my position clear and the reasons why I feel we can and will thrive outside the overbearing, undemocratic EU.

This country has a long and proud history. We are big enough, wealthy enough and confident enough to chart our own course in the world.
Just a few hours of euphoria have been quickly replaced with a deep sadness and disappointment with the news of David Cameron’s resignation.

I have supported David Cameron throughout my time as a council leader, parliamentary candidate and as a new MP. I was one of the signatories of the letter delivered to David Cameron last night calling on him to stay on whatever the outcome. I believed, and still believe that David Cameron would be the best person to lead the renegotiations required to make our exit from the EU as smooth as possible.

The Prime Minister has acted with his characteristic honour and dignity. While I wish he had chosen a different path I fully understand why he has decided that now is the time to step down.

Last night was a historic event. A new chapter has begun and we must embrace the opportunity given to us by the British people to secure our place in the world as an independent nation.