Nightly News   |  May 11, 2010

David Cameron becomes British PM

After five days of waiting, the people of Britain have a new prime minister in conservative leader David Cameron, who took over as head of a new coalition government Tuesday after Gordon Brown stepped down. NBC's Dawn Friesen reports.

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BRIAN WILLIAMS, anchor: Overseas tonight a new man in charge in Great Britain . Just like that there's a new prime minister. Gordon Brown is out, a new family is moving in to Number 10 Downing Street . This was all triggered by last week's inconclusive election. For more on the new man, who he is, how he got there, our own Dawna Friesen outside Number 10 tonight. Dawna , good evening .

DAWNA FRIESEN reporting: Good evening , Brian . Yes, for five days the people of Britain have been waiting to find out who would move in here at Number 10 Downing Street tonight. Finally, an answer. Conservative Party leader David Cameron will take over as head of a new coalition government . After days of political intrigue, Gordon Brown emerged from 10 Downing Street with his wife, Sarah , to admit defeat.

Mr. GORDON BROWN: I've always strived to serve, to do my best in the interest of Britain , its values and its people.

FRIESEN: Then a carefully choreographed transfer of power . Brown , with his sons John and Frasier at his side, headed to Buckingham Palace to formally resign. Every nuance followed live on TV .

Unidentified Man: Britain has no prime minister at this moment.

FRIESEN: Within minutes, though, it did. Conservative leader David Cameron rolled up to the palace and was invited by the queen to become Britain 's next prime minister. Then, with his pregnant wife, Samantha , it was straight to his new home, 10 Downing Street , and the tough job ahead.

Prime Minister DAVID CAMERON: We have some deep and pressing problems: a huge deficit, deep social problems and a political system in need of reform .

FRIESEN: But Cameron 's not alone at the top. Because no party won a majority he had to make a deal to form a coalition with the Liberal Democrats , whose leader, Nick Clegg , was virtually unknown until he shot to fame during Britain 's first-ever televised leaders' debate.

Mr. NICK CLEGG: We can have a better, fairer country if we do things differently.

FRIESEN: Dubbed Clegg the king maker , he flirted with both sides, Labour and Conservative , in a flurry of secret meetings many voters were getting fed up with.

Unidentified Woman: What's going on here is not democracy, it's secrecy.

Unidentified Man:

FRIESEN: Late today, a deal was finally done. Cameron , at age 43, is the youngest British prime minister in almost 200 years. And Gordon Brown? Tonight he seemed almost relieved.

Mr. BROWN: And as I leave the second most important job I could ever hold, I cherish even more the first, as a husband and father. Thank you and goodbye.

FRIESEN: Gordon Brown , relieved perhaps because he realizes what a tough job lies ahead. David Cameron 's coalition inherits not only the biggest deficit this country has seen since the second world war , but also an unpopular war in

Afghanistan. Brian: No shortage of drama there today. Dawna Friesen in London . Dawna , thanks.