Scheer Out as Tory Leader

After failing to dazzle the electorate -- and despite winning the popular vote in the Oct. 21 election -- Andrew Scheer has announced his days as federal Conservative leader are numbered.

Scheer -- the MP for a riding in Saskatchewan, and former house speaker -- told the House of Commons Thursday choosing to resign was "one of the most difficult decisions" he has had to make, one that happened after long conversations with people close to him following the fall vote.

"In order to chart the course ahead, this party, this movement, needs someone who can give 100 per cent to the efforts, and after some conversations with my kids, my loved ones, I felt it was time to put my family first," Scheer said, as his wife Jill looked on from the House of Commons gallery.

According to sources, Scheer told the Tory caucus of his decision to resign at the end of a Thursday morning meeting to discuss the party's position and strategy on the revised NAFTA deal.

There has been a split within the party over Scheer's future ever since the election, when he failed to capitalize on the jaw-dropping, mid-campaign revelation that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had repeatedly dressed in blackface.

Several failed candidates and party operatives have publicly questioned his leadership and suggested he should step aside.