Boris Johnson has declared he will remain as prime minister until a leadership election is completed but has resigned as Conservative party leader.

In a speech given outside number 10, Johnson blamed the will of the parliamentary Conservative party for forcing him out and said a timetable for leadership campaign will be announced next week.

Johnson said: "The herd instinct is powerful and when the herd moves, it moves."

Prime Minister Boris Johnson resigns

He explained the reason he had fought to remain in place over the past couple of days was "not just because I wanted to do so, but I felt it was my job, my duty, my obligation to you [the British public] to do so", adding that he was "immensely proud" of his achievements since the December 2019 election.

Johnson used his speech to both reassert the strength of his mandate, winning the election with the largest Conservative majority since Margaret Thatcher, and remind people of what he views as his greatest achievements during his short tenure.

These included his support of Ukraine, ‘levelling up' agenda and Brexit.

Johnson noted that the distribution of opportunity in the UK remains unequal, adding that he believes the ‘levelling up' campaign would help to continue "unleashing the potential of the country".

He added that it would be "eccentric" to change government at this time but concluded "them's the breaks".

Johnson also addressed the new would-be leader, assuring that they would receive as much support as he can give after the completion of the "brilliant and Darwinian system" used to elect a new party leader.

To conclude, Johnson ran through a list of people he wished to thank during his tenure, including: Carrie and his children and all the members of his family; the civil service; the NHS; the Armed services; number 10 and Chequers staff; the "indefatigable" Conservative party; and the public.

He assured that the interests of the public would continue to be served until his eventual departure.

Johnson concluded: "Even if things seem dark now, our future together is golden."