Boris Johnson has resigned as Conservative Party leader – but will stay as Prime Minister until his successor is elected.
After an extraordinary 48 hours where dozens of ministers resigned in protest at Mr Johnson’s behaviour, the PM finally bowed to the inevitable and said he would leave office.
In a statement outside 10 Downing Street, he said: “In the last few days, I tried to persuade my colleagues that it would be eccentric to change governments when we’re delivering so much and when we have such a vast mandate and when we’re actually only a handful of points behind in the polls, even in midterm after quite a few months of pretty relentless sledging and when the economic scene is so difficult domestically and internationally.
“I regret not to have been successful in those arguments and of course it’s painful not to be able to see through so many ideas and projects myself.
“But as we’ve seen, at Westminster the herd instinct is powerful, when the herd moves, it moves.
“And my friends in politics, no one is remotely indispensable and our brilliant and Darwinian system will produce another leader, equally committed to taking this country forward through tough times.”
You can read all the local reaction to his resignation, and an extraordinary day of political upheaval, on our previously live blog here.