Conservative leader David Cameron has become Britain's new prime minister following the resignation of Gordon Brown, ending 13 years of Labour rule.
Cameron's Conservative Party won the most seats in parliamentary elections held on May 6 and went to Buckingham Palace to accept the traditional invitation from Queen Elizabeth II to form a new government late on May 11.
The 43-year-old Cameron is Britain's youngest prime minister in almost 200 years.
For the first time in more than three decades, the election did not produce an outright winner. The center-right Conservatives won the most seats but fell short of a majority. Labour came in second and the Liberal Democrats a distant third.
Four days of intense political negotiation followed as both the Conservative and Labour parties tried to win the support of the Liberal Democrats to form a ruling coalition.
By this afternoon it was clear that Labour had lost.
Cameron stood outside the prime minister's residence at 10 Downing Street and announced that he was ready to govern with the Liberal Democrats.
"I aim to form a proper and full coalition between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats," Cameron said. "I believe that it is the right way to provide this country with the strong, the stable, the good and decent government that I think we need so badly."
Cameron said Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg and he could "put aside party differences and work hard for the common good and for the national interest."
Clegg is said to have won concessions from Cameron on the Liberal Democrats' key demand -- that Britain change its voting system toward a more proportional system.
Cameron's Conservative Party has been strongly opposed to changing the current voting system, which favors Britain's two main parties, the Conservatives and Labour.
The new prime minister also praised Gordon Brown for his public service and vowed to work toward solving the country's "pressing problems," which he said included the budget deficit, social problems, and needed political reform.
In the same spot just hours earlier, the outgoing Brown posed for photos with his wife, Sarah, and their children and made brief remarks.
"My resignation as the leader of the Labour Party will take effect immediately and in this hour I want to thank all my colleagues - ministers, members of the Parliament and I want to thank above all my staff who have been my friends as well brilliant servants of the country," Brown said.
Brown said he wished the next prime minister well, and then departed for Buckingham Palace to inform the queen of his decision.
Before the afternoon's announcement, the public's impatience with four days of indecision was becoming clear.
Outside government buildings crowds gathered and a few people shouted, "Make up your mind!" to lawmakers who passed by. Others unfurled banners calling for the political system to be overhauled.
with agency reports