"he should leave with dignity."
Boris Johnson has announced his resignation as Conservative leader.
This comes as dozens of Tory ministers quit, beginning with Sajid Javid and Rishi Sunak.
Many have resigned following the PM’s admission that he knew about allegations of inappropriate behaviour by disgraced MP Chris Pincher in 2019 before hiring him as deputy chief whip in February 2022.
His remaining ministers went into Downing Street on July 6, 2022, to personally tell Mr Johnson to resign.
This included Priti Patel and newly appointed Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi.
On July 7, Mr Zahawi publicly urged Mr Johnson to quit.
His letter to the PM read: “When asked to become Chancellor, I did it out of loyalty. Not a man, but loyalty to this country and all it has given me.
“Yesterday, I made clear to the prime minister alongside my colleagues in No 10 that there was only one direction where this was going, and that he should leave with dignity.
“Out of respect, and in the hopes that he would listen to an old friend of 30 years, I kept this counsel private.
“I am heartbroken that he hasn’t listened and that he is now undermining incredible achievements on the government at this late hour.
“But the country deserves a government that is not only stable but which acts with integrity.”
Despite Mr Johnson defiantly stating he would not quit, he has agreed to step down as Conservative leader.
In a statement, Downing Street said:
“The Prime Minister will make a statement to the country today.”
According to reports, Boris Johnson spoke to Sir Graham Brady, the chair of the Conservative backbench 1922 Committee, and agreed to stand down.
Outside Downing Street, Mr Johnson announced his resignation as Conservative leader.
Mr Johnson will continue as Prime Minister until the autumn. The timetable for choosing a new leader will be announced soon.
He rejected the idea of a general election when we’re “delivering so much and such vast mandates, when the economic scene is so difficult domestically and internationally”.
Mr Johnson said: “I regret to not be successful in arguments and it’s painful not to see through so many ideas and projects.
“Above all, I want to thank you, the British public, for the immense privilege you have given me.”
Mr Johnson finished his statement by saying that until his replacement is found, the public’s interests will be served.
“Being Prime Minister is an education in itself – I’ve travelled to every part of UK and I’ve found so many people possessed of such boundless British originality and so willing to tackle old problems in new ways.
“Even if things can sometimes seem dark now, our future together is golden.”
The imminent resignation means a Conservative leadership race will take place this summer and the new leader will become Prime Minister in time for the Tory party conference in October.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer reacted to the news and said:
“It is good news for the country that Boris Johnson has resigned as Prime Minister.
“But it should have happened long ago. He was always unfit for office. He has been responsible for lies, scandal and fraud on an industrial scale.
“And all those who have been complicit should be utterly ashamed.
“The Conservatives have overseen 12 years of economic stagnation, declining public services and empty promises.
“We don’t need to change the Tory at the top – we need a proper change of government. We need a fresh start for Britain.”
There are calls for Boris Johnson to quit as PM sooner rather than stay on until the autumn.
He has since appointed a full replacement cabinet.