Boris Johnson resigned as leader of Britain's Conservative party after dozens of ministers quit his scandal-hit government.
"It is clearly the will of the parliamentary Conservative party that there should be a new leader of that party, and therefore a new prime minister," Johnson said outside 10 Downing Street.
Johnson, 58, announced that he would step down after a slew of resignations from his top team in protest at his leadership but would stay on as prime minister until a replacement is found.
The timetable for a Tory leadership race will be announced next week, he said, after three tumultuous years in office defined by Brexit, the COVID pandemic and non-stop controversy over his reputation for mendacity.
Chancellor Of Exchequer Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Sajid Javid late Tuesday set off a chain of resignations. Today, UK Education Minister Michelle Donelan resigned two days after in the office.
Indian-origin Sunak is seen by the bookmakers Ladbrokes as joint favorite alongside former Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt. If it happens, he will be first Indian-origin man to be British PM.
Sunak became hugely popular during the pandemic after crafting a massive package worth tens of billions of pounds to help businesses and workers. However, in recent months he found himself on the backfoot over his wife's non-dom tax status, his US green card, and the perception of him being too slow to react to Britain's cost-of-living crisis.
Rishi Sunak's grandparents came from Punjab. He has two daughters with Akshata Murty, the daughter of Infosys founder NR Narayana Murthy.
Read more UK News, Breaking News, Political News and NRI News here