John Key, the New Zealand prime minister and leader of the National party, has resigned in a decision that has taken the country by surprise.
His resignation will be effective from 12 December, when National MPs will meet to select a new leader.
Key is widely regarded as one of the most popular prime ministers in New Zealand’s history. He was first elected in 2008, and recently marked his 10-year anniversary as leader of the National party.
Deputy PM Bill English is likely to take over until the National Party holds a caucus to choose a new PM.