Amber Rudd finally bowed to massive pressure tonight and quit after misleading parliament over targets for removing illegal migrants.
With no sign of the scandal blowing over, the Home Secretary decided to fall on her sword rather than face more humiliation.
The departure will be a huge blow for Theresa May – and potentially leaves her personally vulnerable.
Ms Rudd has acted as an lightning rod for her predecessor in the Home Office amid the outcry over the Windrush immigration debacle.
It appears that Ms Rudd took the decision to quit herself, despite Downing Street previously trying to prop her up. She telephoned the PM to inform her of the move tonight.
A No 10 spokesman said: ‘The Prime Minister has tonight accepted the resignation of the Home Secretary.’
Tories expressed sorrow at the departure – while opposition parties wasted no time in turning their fire on Mrs May.
Labour deputy leader Tom Watson said: ‘I see Amber Rudd is carrying the can for the person originally responsible for this scandal – Theresa May.’
The timing of the departure took Westminster by surprise. There was intense speculation that Ms Rudd might go on Friday night after the emergence of a leaked Home Office memo that had been copied to the minister.
It spelled out that there were both national and regional targets for deportations of illegal i