The new Basildon and Billericay MP, Richard Holden, has resigned as Tory party chairman, describing the post as the "greatest honour" of his life.

Richard Holden, Conservative MP for Basildon and Billericay, has penned a resignation letter to Rishi Sunak in which he confirms his decision to step down as the Conservative Party Chairman.

This announcement comes in the wake of news that the Conservative Party has planned a reshuffle, transitioning into the position of shadow cabinet.

Mr Holden was elected as Basildon and Billericay MP by just 20 votes in the General Election last week.

Mr Holden said in his resignation letter: "It has been the greatest honour of my life to serve the Conservative Party, of which I have been a member for 25 years, as its Chairman.

"I have loyally supported all our leaders and Prime Ministers since I joined all those years ago - be it as a volunteer, a member of the CCHQ team, as a Parliamentary candidate, as the first Conservative Member of Parliament for North West Durham - until its abolition by the Boundary Commission - and now as Member of Parliament for Basildon and Billericay.

"I will always remain loyal to the values that our great party stands for, and I have only ever sought to act in the best interests of our Party and our country in every role I have held.

"In 2022, I was honoured to have been appointed by you as a Minister in the Department for Transport.

"I am especially proud of my record of delivery, including rolling out the Get Around for Ez bus fare and securing vital decade-long investment to repair, expand and upgrade our road infrastructure that will benefit cities, towns, and villages across the country for generations to come.

"In October last year, I was honoured to be appointed by you as Party Chairman, albeit extremely mindful of the difficult circumstances facing the Party and its position in the polls, over 20 points behind at the time.

"I have always been especially aware of the duty of care that we all owe to each other as members of our Conservative family, and that duty has never been more important as we support friends and colleagues through what has been a very tough set of results.

"Many superb Parliamentary colleagues, including a number of our excellent Deputy Chairmen and my own PPS, all of whom have been exceptional have not been re-elected.

"Having done more than 260 visits across the country, meeting our fantastic associations and volunteers and also having worked with incredibly loyal and dedicated members of staff in CCHQ.

"I am sure that our party can and will rebuild now, and quickly move to challenge the Government in the national interest as we move to take on Labour and win the next General Election.

"I look forward to playing my role in continuing to support our Party going forward. The process for choosing a new leader will be determined by the Executive of the 1922 Committee who will be assisted by CCHQ in whatever way the 1922 sees fit."