In a stirring speech, the Theresa May revealed she will depart from Number 10 on June 7 after facing pressure from MPs to step down.
Following a meeting on 24 May with the 1922 Committee Chair Sir Graham Brady, Mrs May gave a moving speech outlining her resignation.
The Prime Minister had no choice but to resign after a Cabinet revolt over her latest Brexit plan and the delay of the Withdrawal Agreement Bill (WAB).
Mrs May said: “It is and will always remain a matter of deep regret to me that I have not been able to deliver Brexit.”
The Prime Minister ended the speech in tears as she spoke about the country “I love”.
Mrs May began tearing up and her voice broke as she ended her speech and said: “I will shortly leave that has been the honour of my life to hold.
“The second female prime minister but certainly not the last.”
Before walking off in tears, Mrs May added: “I do so with no ill will but with enormous and enduring gratitude to have had the opportunity to serve the country I love.”
During the speech, Mrs May also said: “So I am today announcing that I will resign as the leader of the Conservative and Unionist Party on Friday 7 June so that a successor can be chosen.”
She explained following her meeting with the chairman of the 1922 Committee, the process for electing a new leader will begin in the following week.
Mrs May added: “I have kept Her Majesty the Queen fully informed of my intentions and I will continue to serve as her Prime Minister until the process has concluded.”
The Tory MP for Maidenhead warned her successor will now face the responsibility of finding a consensus among Parliament, adding: “Such a consensus can only be reached if those on all sides of the debate are willing to compromise.”
Staff also in tears
Number 10 staff were reportedly in tears as they gave Mrs May a round of applause when she walked back into the building.
Mrs May’s chief of staff Gavin Barwell wrote on Twitter: “As the PM’s Chief of Staff for the last two years, I have seen at first hand her commitment to public service and her incredible resilience as she has confronted the biggest challenge any British Government has faced since the Second World War.
“It has been an honour to serve her.”
After the speech, Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd also wrote on Twitter that Mrs May had shown “great courage” throughout her three-year premiership.
She said: “She is a public servant who did all she could to bring Brexit to a resolution.
“Her sense of duty is something everyone should admire and aspire to.
“As a Party we must come together to make a success of the next phase of our Party’s great story.
“Brexit is a process and compromise is needed to pass a Deal that works for everyone.”
International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox said Mrs May acted with “dignity and honour” as she attempted to do what she thought was in the national interest throughout the Brexit process.