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by Louise Wilson
05 July 2024
Rishi Sunak to stand down as Conservative leader

Rishi Sunak will formally resign as prime minister shortly| Alamy

Rishi Sunak to stand down as Conservative leader

Rishi Sunak has confirmed he will stand down as Conservative Party leader in his final speech as prime minister. 

Addressing the electorate outside of Number 10 before he meets the King to formally resign, Sunak said it was a “difficult day at the end of a number of difficult days”. 

He said: “I have heard your anger, your disappointment, and I take responsibility for this loss.” 

Sunak confirmed he would resign as party leader once the process for selecting a successor had been arranged. 

That will be set out by the backbench 1922 Committee in due course. 

He said: “I will step down as party leader, not immediately, but once the formal arrangements for selecting my successor are in place. 

“It is important that after 14 years in government, the Conservative Party rebuilds – but also that it takes up its crucial role in opposition professionally and effectively.” 

He also offered praise to incoming prime minister Keir Starmer, calling him “a decent, public-spirited man, who I respect”. 

The next leader of the Conservative Party will head up a much-diminished parliamentary group. With two last seats to declare, it has just 121 seats – a decrease of 250 from 2019. 

The Scottish Conservatives will also be on the hunt for a new leader at Holyrood, following Douglas Ross’s announcement that he would stand aside last month. 

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