Liz Truss has resigned as Prime Minister this afternoon. She has already spoken to the King.
Her resignation follows an unprecedented breakdown in Government over the last 48 hours.
We believe she made the decision last night and spent the morning in conversation with her team and then the Deputy Prime Minster, the Chairman of the Tory backbench committee and the Conservative Party Chairman to agree her departure.
There will be a new Prime Minister within a week and MPs will begin a process to nominate and vote on her successor tomorrow.
It is likely that Conservative MPs will select just one candidate and negate the requirement to involve the wider membership. Although there is a possibility that some sort of online vote could take place.
At this stage our expectation is that Rishi Sunak will become Conservative Party leader and PM. He is likely to secure the widest level of support from across the Conservative Party and came first in the leadership contest among MPs that took place in July.
It is possible that the likely candidates (Sunak, Hunt, Mordaunt) will arrange, amongst themselves, and present a united team, perhaps with predetermined roles in the new Government. Sunak as PM, Hunt or Javid as Chancellor and Penny Mordaunt as Foreign Secretary.
It is highly likely that there will be intensive calls for a General Election and the Labour Party could well call a vote of confidence in the Government to try to precipitate such an outcome.
Many Tory MPs are sympathetic to the idea of a General Election, but there is no legal reason for the new Government to hold one and it’s unlikely to happen in the near term.
As we’ve become used to, the situation is evolving very rapidly and we’ll keep updates coming.