British Prime Minister David Cameron entertained parliament with a series of farewell quips yesterday in his last appearance as prime minister before making way for British Home Secretary Theresa May to lead the monumental task of extricating Britain from the EU.
“This morning, I had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others. Other than one meeting this afternoon with Her Majesty the Queen, the diary for the rest of my day is remarkably light,” Cameron said to roars of laughter in a packed House of Commons in London.
He was due to present his resignation to the queen at Buckingham Palace at about 5pm. Then May would pay her own visit to the monarch to be formally entrusted with the job, before entering 10 Downing Street to become Britain’s second female prime minister after Margaret Thatcher.
Cameron stepped down after Britons rejected his entreaties and voted in a June 23 referendum to quit the EU, creating huge economic uncertainty because of the likely damage to trade and investment.
Apart from the task of executing “Brexit,” May must try to unite a divided party and a nation in which many, on the evidence of the vote, feel angry with the political elite and left behind by the forces of globalization.
Despite the serious backdrop, there was an atmosphere of hilarity in parliament as Cameron traded humorous jabs with beleaguered opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn.
“I’m beginning to admire his tenacity. He is reminding me of the black knight in Monty Python’s Holy Grail. He’s been kicked so many times, but he says: ‘Keep going, it’s only a flesh wound.’ I admire that,” said Cameron, who departed to an ovation from his own and some Labour lawmakers.
He took the opportunity to trumpet his government’s achievements in generating one of the fastest growth rates among Western economies, chopping the budget deficit, creating 2.5 million jobs and legalizing gay marriage.
Yet his legacy will be overshadowed by his failed referendum gamble.
May is seen by her supporters as a safe pair of hands to steer Britain through the Brexit process.
“I think around the Cabinet table yesterday the feeling was that we have our [German Chancellor] Angela Merkel,” British Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said.
‘HERO OF THE ERA’: President Tsai Ing-wen expressed deep sadness at Lee’s passing, and told the government to assist his family with all their needs Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) passed away at 7:24pm yesterday at Taipei Veterans General Hospital. He was 97 years old. The hospital stated the cause of death as septic shock and multiple organ failure. Lee had been hospitalized there since February, when he choked on a mouthful of milk at home. He was later diagnosed with pulmonary infiltrates and aspiration pneumonia. The hospital said that Lee had been treated with antibiotics, but that his health had not improved, as his advanced age and diabetes had inhibited his immune system and led to recurring infections. During his hospitalization, Lee underwent daily kidney dialysis, which removed
‘WEAK POSITIVE’: The man arrived in Taiwan in May and was quarantined for two weeks, Chen Shih-chung said, adding that he might be infected a long time ago The government is considering tightening mask-wearing rules again in light of a potential domestic COVID-19 infection, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) confirmed seven new COVID-19 cases, six of which are imported. The other case involves a Belgian engineer who entered Taiwan on May 3 and remained in quarantine until May 17, said Chen, who heads the CECC. Although the source of infection has yet to be identified, the case could end the nation’s record of not having any domestic cases in the previous 110 days. The Belgian, in his 20s, is a technician
RECEIVING TREATMENT: President Tsai Ing-wen, Vice President William Lai and Premier Su Tseng-chang visited former president Lee Teng-hui yesterday morning Taipei Veterans General Hospital yesterday rebutted speculation that former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) had died a day earlier, saying that he was weak, but receiving treatment. The hospital said the 97-year-old Lee was not in good condition and needed ongoing care, adding that if there are any changes in his condition, it would make those public. The comments came after rumors emerged online on Tuesday that Lee had died after being hospitalized since early February. Soon after the unsubstantiated rumors emerged, reporters started flocking to the hospital seeking confirmation. Lee was admitted to Taipei Veterans General Hospital on Feb. 8 after choking while drinking
ROAD TO HISTORY: When Lee Teng-hui joined the KMT, the likelihood of a Taiwanese becoming ROC president, much less its first directly elected one, was hard to imagine Lee Teng-hui (李登輝), who was born on Jan. 15, 1923, in the farming community of Sanshi Village, Taihoku Prefecture — now New Taipei City’s Sanzhi District (三芝) — during the Japanese colonial era, and rose to become mayor of Taipei and not only the Republic of China’s (ROC) first Taiwan-born president, but its first directly elected one as well. Educated in the Japanese educational system of the time, Lee, who spoke Japanese, Hoklo (also known as Taiwanese), Mandarin and English, won a scholarship to Kyoto Imperial University, but his studies were interrupted by World War II. He earned a bachelor’s