Washington October 4 2023: Kevin McCarthy has been ousted in a right-wing revolt - the first time ever that a US House of Representatives Speaker has lost a no-confidence vote.
The final tally was 216-210 to remove the California congressman as leader of the Republican majority in the lower chamber of Congress.
Ultra-conservatives mutinied after he struck a deal on Saturday with Senate Democrats to fund government agencies.
There is no obvious successor to oversee the House Republican majority.
Florida Republican Matt Gaetz, a Trump ally, filed a rarely used procedural tool known as a motion to vacate on Monday night to oust Mr McCarthy.
He accused the Speaker of making a secret deal with the White House to continue funding for Ukraine, which Mr McCarthy denies.
At a private meeting of Republican lawmakers on Tuesday evening, Mr McCarthy told his colleagues he does not plan to run for Speaker again.
He later took aim at his political nemesis, Mr Gaetz, accusing him of attention-seeking.
"You know it was personal," Mr McCarthy told a news conference, "it had nothing to do with spending."
He said fundraising emails sent by Mr Gaetz amid the infighting were "not becoming of a member of Congress".
The hardliners who ousted him "are not conservatives", Mr McCarthy added.
He only became Speaker in January after a gruelling 15 rounds of voting in the chamber as Mr Gaetz and other right-wingers refused to support him.
Eight Republicans voted to oust Mr McCarthy in Tuesday's vote. Another 210 - all Republicans - voted to keep Mr McCarthy in the role.
But Democrats joined with the Speaker's Republican critics to topple him.
Democratic House Leader Hakeem Jeffries had said in a letter to colleagues that he would not provide the votes needed to rescue Mr McCarthy.
Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, a left-wing Democrat from the north-western US state of Washington, told reporters before the vote: "Let them wallow in their pigsty of incompetence."
After the vote, two Democratic lawmakers laughed about the Republican feuding.
"Let the civil war begin," one of them quipped in a lift.
The packed chamber - which Republicans control by a narrow 221-212 majority - was mostly silent as members awaited the result of the roll call vote.
"The office of Speaker of the House is hereby declared vacant," declared Arkansas Republican Steve Womack with a bang of his gavel, to audible gasps.
Ahead of the vote former US President Donald Trump posted on his social media platform, Truth Social, that the party should be "fighting the Radical Left Democrats" instead of each other.
During Tuesday's debate, all of the next three top-ranking members rose to speak in Mr McCarthy's defence.
House Republican Conference chairwoman Elise Stefanik praised Mr McCarthy as "a happy warrior".