Boris Johnson says he plans to stand as leader of the Conservative Party.
The former foreign secretary told the British Insurance Brokers’ Association conference today: “I’m going to go for it, but there is no vacancy at present.”
Rumours Mr Johnson has had his eyes on the leadership have been circulating for some time - and he finally confirmed his intentions as Mrs May comes under increasing pressure to name the date of her departure as Prime Minister.
Mrs May told her party in December she would step aside once she has delivered the first phase of Brexit.
But mutinous MPs frustrated by her failure to deliver Brexit are urging her to lay out a specific timetable for when she will quit.
The Prime Minister attended a meeting of the 1922 Committee - an influential group of Tory backbenchers - this morning, which discussed her departure.
If she fails to nail down a date, a number of rebellious Brexiteers plot to change the rules of the party in order to be able to hold a vote to unseat her.
The Government is planning to hold a vote on the Withdrawal Agreement Bill - the piece of legislation that would enact Mrs May’s agreement with the EU - in the first week of June.
Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay told to the Lords EU select committee yesterday the vote could mark the death of Theresa May's Brexit deal.
He said: “I think if the House of Commons does not approve the bill then the Barnier deal is dead in that form and I think the house will have to then address a much more fundamental question between whether it will pursue a no-deal option or whether it will revoke."
Mr Johnson’s opposition to Theresa May’s Brexit deal has won him support among Eurosceptics and he is popular with Conservative Party members.
The latest poll from grassroots website Conservative Home had Mr Johnson as the most popular leadership candidate among members.
However his path to power could be blocked by a struggle to win the backing of some of his fellow Tory MPs.
Some Conservatives have gone as far as to say they would quit the party if he took over.
Other Conservatives who have thrown their hat in the ring for the next leadership contest include Leader of the House of Commons Andrea Leadsom, International Development secretary Rory Stewart and former Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey.