Race kicks off to find Liz Truss' successor within a week
After Liz Truss dramatically resigned as PM, barely six weeks into the job, a fast-tracked contest to find the next Tory leader and prime minister has begun.
Hopefuls need the backing of 100 MPs by Monday (Oct 24), with her successor likely to be announced by Friday (Oct 28) at the latest.
New Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has ruled himself out but Rishi Sunak and Penny Mordaunt are seen as contenders.
Sources close to Boris Johnson neither confirm nor deny he will stand again.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has called for an immediate general election following the resignation of the prime minister.
Sir Keir said the country "cannot have another experiment at the top of the Tory party".
The next general election is not due to take place until at least 2024, after the Conservatives won a landslide majority in the last one in 2019.
Ms Truss was elected by the Tory membership in September, but she lost authority after a series of U-turns.
In a brief speech outside Downing Street, Ms Truss said the Conservative Party had elected her on a mandate to cut taxes and boost economic growth.
But Ms Truss said: "I recognise that I cannot deliver the mandate on which I was elected by the Conservative Party."
Ms Truss said she would remain in post until a successor formally takes over as party leader and is appointed prime minister by King Charles III.
She will become the shortest-serving PM in British history when she stands down.