Boris Johnson has quit his position as leader of the Conservatives but will continue to serve as Prime Minister until the party chooses a successor.
In his resignation speech outside No.10 Downing Street on Thursday Johnson said the process of selecting the new leader would begin immediately and a full timetable announced next week.
“I want you to know how sad I am to be giving up the best job in the world,” the PM said. “But them’s the breaks.”
He steps down from his position just three years after a landslide victory in the general election. The new Tory leader is expected to be in place by the time of the Conservative Party conference in October.
Boris Johnson’s eventual fall from power
Despite a series of reported scandals and the Partygate affair it was a the recent string of resignations from ministers and MPs that finally did for the Prime Minister.
More than 50 MPs resigned from the government or party roles since Tuesday evening (5 July), with the mass exodus being triggered by the resignations of Rishi Sunak and Sajid Javid from the Cabinet.
It comes just weeks after he narrowly won a confidence vote in the wake of the Sue Gray report into a series of private Downing Street parties at the height of Covid lockdown.
The resignations came after Mr Johnson was forced into apologising over his handling of the Chris Pincher row.
It emerged that the Prime Minister had “forgotten” about being told of previous allegations of “inappropriate” conduct.
Mr Pincher resigned as deputy chief whip following claims that he had groped two men, but Mr Johnson was told about allegations against him back in 2019.
Mr Johnson had sought to defy his critics and remain in office, despite warnings from Cabinet colleagues that this was not sustainable. But the resignations continued and made clear his position as Prime Minister was untenable.
Next UK prime minister odds
Deputy prime minister Dominic Raab is currently the favourite to succeed Boris Johnson - with odds of 4/1.
Here are the latest odds from Bet365:
- Dominic Raab 4/1
- Rishi Sunak 7/2
- Penny Mordaunt 11/2
- Sajid javid 8/1
- Ben Wallace 8/1
- Liz Truss 10/1
- Jeremy Hunt 10/1