Boris Johnson and his former finance minister Rishi Sunak are leading the potential contenders to be the next British prime minister following Liz Truss' resignation after just six weeks in office.
Following are latest events, comments and context:
* Truss resigned as prime minister, brought down by an economic programme that roiled financial markets, pushed up living costs for voters and enraged much of her own party.
* Candidates are canvassing support among Conservative Party lawmakers to become party leader - and prime minister - in a fast-tracked contest.
* Boris Johnson, who was ousted by his lawmakers in July but remains popular with party members, was being touted by some to make what would be an extraordinary political comeback.
* A Reuters tally of lawmakers who have made public declarations of support put Sunak on 50 backers, Johnson on 27 and former defence minister Penny Mordaunt on 16.
* The leadership election will be completed within the next week to replace Truss, the shortest serving prime minister in British history. The first results in the contest will be announced at 1700 GMT on Monday.
* The Financial Times newspaper said the return of Johnson would be "farcical".
* A nationwide election need not be called for another two years, but opposition parties said voters should now be given a say.
"(The Conservatives) do not have a mandate to put the country through yet another experiment," said Labour Party leader Keir Starmer.
* Labour leads the government by more than 30 points in some opinion polls.
* British shoppers cut their spending sharply in September while public borrowing grew by more than expected, underscoring the challenge facing new finance minister Jeremy Hunt and whoever succeeds Truss as prime minister.
* Hunt reiterated on Friday that the government will do "whatever is necessary" to drive down debt in the medium term.
"To stabilise markets, I've been clear that protecting our public finances means difficult decisions lie ahead," Hunt said.
* Confidence among British consumers remained close to the lowest level on record with households facing double-digit inflation, rising interest rates and political chaos.
* Sterling fell on Friday, weighed by the economic and political uncertainty. Analysts reckon that markets will need some time to thoroughly shake off the political risk premium built over recent weeks.
* The UK's main equity indexes also dropped, as the poor retail sales figures and a jump in bond yields added to the weak sentiment following the tumultuous week in politics.
What's behind the crisis?
* Britain's financial markets were plunged into turmoil on Sept. 23 after then-new finance minister Kwasi Kwarteng announced billions of pounds of unfunded tax cuts.
* The Bank of England was forced into emergency bond-buying to stem a sharp sell-off in Britain's $2.3 trillion government bond market that threatened to wreak havoc in the pension industry and increase recession risks.
* Kwarteng's replacement Jeremy Hunt on Monday scrapped "nearly all" of the economic plan and scaled back Truss's vast energy support scheme, announced in September, in a historic U-turn to try restore investor confidence.
* The BoE interventions have highlighted a growing segment of Britain's pensions sector - liability-driven investment.