„I have been a Member of Parliament for 18 years. I have been a member of the Government for 14 years, of the Cabinet for ten years and Prime Minister since 1990. When the curtain falls it is time to get off the stage and that is what I propose to do. I shall, therefore, advise my parliamentary colleagues that it would be appropriate for them to consider the selection of a new leader of the Conservative Party to lead the party through Opposition through the years that lie immediately ahead.“
— John Major
"Major's Speech", The Times, 3 May 1997, p. 2. Statement in Downing Street on 2 May 1997 following the general election in which the Conservative Party was heavily defeated. Major was just about to resign as Prime Minister and announced his decision to stand down as party leader simultaneously.