Below is Oliver Dowden's letter to Boris Johnson, explaining why he is resigning as chairman of the Conservative party, following this week’s two by-election losses.
It is with great sadness that I must resign as Chairman of the Conservative Party with immediate effect. Yesterday’s Parliamentary by-elections are the latest in a run of very poor results for our party.
Our supporters are distressed and disappointed by recent events, and I share their feelings. We cannot carry on with business as usual. Somebody must take responsibility and I have concluded that, in these circumstances, it would not be right for me to remain in office.
It has been an honour to serve in your cabinets as Party Chairman, Culture Secretary and minister for the Cabinet Office.
In particular, I want to take this opportunity to pay tribute to our excellent Conservative volunteers and staffers who work so tirelessly for our cause. They are the backbone of our great party and deserve better than this. Finally, I want to emphasise that this is a deeply personal decision that I have taken alone. I will, as always, remain loyal to the Conservative Party.