Prime Minister Theresa May has announced she will resign next month.
Mrs May, voice cracking with emotion at the end of a speech outside 10 Downing Street, says she has ageed with the Conservative Party chairman Brandon Lewis and chairman of the 1922 backbench committee Sir Graham Brady that she will resign on June 7.
The contest for the Tory party leadership will get underway the week after and is expected to last six weeks.Mrs May has confirmed she will continue as Prime Minister until her successor is chosen.
Mrs May says the fact she has been unable to deliver Brexit was a matter of deep regret and urged her successor to find compromise.
She said: “It is a matter of deep regret that I have not been able to deliver Brexit.
“My successor will have to find a consensus.
“Consensus will only be possible if those on both sides of the debate ‘compromise’.”
She added that the role had been the ‘honour of her life’ and that she’d leave office ‘with no ill will, but with enormous and enduring gratitude’.
She tried three times to force her Brexit deal through Parliament but was roundly defeated on each occasion.
Her latest attempt – a 10-point ‘new’ Brexit deal announced this week – was widely slammed by her own party and failed to convince the Labour Party.
Leader of the House Andrea Leadsom quit on Wednesday evening and that sounded the final death knell for Mrs May’s premiership.
Former foreign secretary Boris Johnson is the frontrunner to succeed her although the contest is likely to be a packed field with Esther McVey, Mrs Leadsom and Rory Stewart also announcing their intentions to stand.
Jeremy Hunt, Michael Gove, Penny Mordaunt and Sajid Javid are also rumoured to be considering bids to replace Mrs May.
Any Tory MP can stand for the leadership and the parliamentary party will whittle all the candidates down to a final two which will then be voted on by the paying membership of the party.