The Latest: EU’s Tusk congratulates May on becoming UK PM


LONDON (AP) — The Latest on British political developments (all times local):

4:35 p.m.

Top European Union official Donald Tusk is congratulating Theresa May on her appointment as Britain’s new prime minister, saying that he looks forward to “a fruitful working relationship.”

Tusk is the president of the European Council, which brings together the leaders of the 28-nation bloc.

May’s main task as prime minister will be to negotiate Britain’s exit from the EU after Britons voted to leave in a June 23 referendum.

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3:05 p.m.

Germany’s interior minister says Theresa May is “the right woman for Britain” as she takes over as prime minister in the wake of the U.K.’s vote to leave the European Union.

Thomas de Maiziere has been outgoing Home Secretary May’s German counterpart for several years as his country’s top security official. De Maiziere said in Berlin on Wednesday: “She is a smart woman — thoughtful, disciplined, competent, strong in negotiations … and critical too, but reliable and credible.”

He added: “That’s why I think she is the right woman for Britain at this time.”

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said the German leader hasn’t personally met May yet but “will certainly have contact with her soon.”

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12:50 p.m.

British Prime Minister David Cameron has received a standing ovation from his Conservative colleagues at the close of his final session of prime minister’s questions.

The members of the House of Commons rose as one to thank a smiling Cameron for his six years of service as a Conservative prime minister.

During the friendly session Wednesday he was praised for helping to reduce unemployment, fund the National Health Service and improve educational opportunities. His wife Samantha and their children were in the public gallery.

Cameron will formally resign later in the day during a meeting with Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace, then Theresa May, the Home Secretary, will take over.

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12:35 p.m.

The usually boisterous House of Commons is taking a good-natured turn on the final day of Prime Minister David Cameron’s final day in office. Lawmakers told jokes — and Cameron joined in with gentle ribbing back.

One of the more cheerful exchanges took place between Cameron and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Cameron poked fun at the leadership turmoil going on in the Labour Party, telling Corbyn that the Tories have had “resignation, nomination, competition and coronation” while Labour is still working out the rules.

Cameron also took a moment to discuss the Downing Street resident cat, Larry, who is being left behind. Cameron says he wanted to scotch “the rumor that somehow I don’t love Larry. I do!”

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12:05 p.m.

Prime Minister David Cameron has begun his final session of prime minister’s questions at the House of Commons.

He joked that his afternoon schedule “will be light” after he steps down following a brief visit with Queen Elizabeth II.

Cameron will tell the queen at Buckingham Palace he is resigning and suggest that Home Secretary Theresa May has the support to become prime minister.

Cameron’s wife Samantha and their children were in the front row of the public gallery for the event.

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12 p.m.

Incoming British leader Theresa May has been greeted with cheers as she entered the House of Commons.

She was attending David Cameron’s final session of prime minister’s questions before the transfer of power begins.

Cameron plans to meet Queen Elizabeth II after the session to formally resign his leadership post.

May is expected to visit the queen shortly afterward to receive permission to form a government.

She is likely to name her Cabinet in the coming days.

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10:25 a.m.

Prime Minister David Cameron will be leaving 10 Downing St. — but another resident of the famous address won’t be going anywhere.

Larry, the resident Downing Street cat, will remain in place, having cemented his position at No. 10 despite widespread doubts about his vermin-hunting abilities.

The rescue tabby tomcat was brought in to catch rats and mice at the famous-but-infested residence, but his record of kills has been hotly disputed. Nonetheless, Downing Street said Wednesday that Larry’s tenure will continue.

No. 10 has described Larry in the past as a cat who “brings a lot of pleasure to a lot of people” and was Tuesday photographed standing guard at the front gate when incoming leader Theresa May walked past.

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9:15 a.m.

The competition for the Labour Party leadership has become more intense with the emergence of a third candidate.

Former shadow minister Owen Smith said Wednesday he will challenge embattled party leader Jeremy Corbyn and former Labour business spokeswoman Angela Eagle in the contest.

He says he would be a “radical and credible” leader.

Corbyn is fighting to retain his position after a dramatic loss of support among his party’s members of Parliament.

The Labour Party executive committee has ruled that his name must be on the ballot despite his lack of backing among legislators. Corbyn is banking on support from rank-and-file members.

The winner will be announced in late September.

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9 a.m.

David Cameron will be appearing before Parliament as prime minister for the last time before handing over to successor Theresa May.

Cameron will step aside on Wednesday after losing the campaign to keep Britain in the European Union. He will take on his final session of prime minister’s questions before traveling to Buckingham Palace to formally tender his resignation to Queen Elizabeth II.

Cameron told The Daily Telegraph it had been “a privilege to serve the country I love.”

May will seek to calm the country, and the financial markets, after upheaval following the unexpected result in the June 23 referendum.

She will reportedly give priority to appointing a Cabinet minister in charge of implementing Brexit, the decision to leave the EU.

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