Theresa May has announced she will resign as Conservative Party leader on June 7, following a furious backlash to her last-ditch Brexit plan.
Speaking in Downing Street on Friday morning, May said: “I have done my best.”
“It is and will always remain a matter of deep regret to me that I have not been able to deliver Brexit,” she said.
“I have striven to make the UK a country that works not just for a privileged few but for everyone and to honour the result of the EU referendum.”
May will remain as prime minister while the party holds a leadership contest, with her successor expected to be in place by the end of the summer.
She was finally ousted following a cabinet revolt over her decision to offer MPs a vote on whether to hold a second referendum.
The PM’s husband Philip May, chief of staff Gavin Barwell and communications chief Robbie Gibb watched her deliver her resignation speech outside No.10.
Boris Johnson, the Brexiteer former foreign secretary, is currently seen as the frontrunner to replace her.
But several other senior Tories, including ex-Brexit Secretary Dominc Raab, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, Home Secretary Sajid Javid and Environment Secretary Michael Gove are all expected to throw their hat into the ring.
Ken Clarke, the former Tory chancellor and veteran MP, predicted the contest would be “six weeks of chaos”.