The Spanish prime minister has been ousted in a vote of no confidence vote in parliament.

Mariano Rajoy will be replaced by Pedro Sánchez, leader of the country’s opposition socialist PSOE party.

“It has been an honour to be the prime minister of Spain,” said Rajoy. “It has been an honour to leave a better Spain than the one I found. I hope that my successor will be able to say the same when his time comes.”

“My thanks to the Spanish people for lending me their support and understanding. And good luck to everyone for the good of Spain.”

“I think I have fulfilled the mandate of the seat, to serve the life of the people. If anyone has felt injured in this House or beyond, I apologise. Thank you all, especially to my party. Thank you to the Spaniards for giving me their understanding and support, and good luck to all for the good of Spain,” he added.

Sánchez won the vote and was backed by 180 MPs, four more than the 176 needed to pass the motion. 169 voted against the motion and there was one abstention.

The motion was called by Sanchez, who said Rajoy failed to take responsibility for his party’s involvement in the recent scandal, which resulted in a former treasurer being given a 33-year jail sentence.

 

Sánchez has said he will call elections but has said minority government will first focus on social and educational reforms before announcing a poll.