Howard to quit as Conservative leader

VANQUISHED Conservative leader Michael Howard today announced he would stand down as the party's boss.However he added he would not do so until the rules for choosing his successor are reformed.

VANQUISHED Conservative leader Michael Howard today announced he would stand down as the party's boss.

However he added he would not do so until the rules for choosing his successor are reformed.

Mr Howard said he had failed to deliver the election victory he wanted and it was in the interests of the country and the party to go.

But as there was widespread dissatisfaction with the existing rules on choosing a leader, he urged the party to reconsider them.

Until then he would remain in the post.

"I want to do now what is best for my party and, above all, my country," said Mr Howard.