Former British foreign secretary Boris Johnson has said he will be standing as a candidate to replace Prime Minister Theresa May as Conservative leader, the BBC reported.

Mrs May has said she will step down before the next phase of Brexit negotiations.

"Of course I’m going to go for it," Mr Johnson told The British Insurance Brokers' Association, according to the BBC.

Mr Johnson resigned from the cabinet in July in protest at Mrs May's handling of the exit negotiations.

The face of the 2016 Brexit campaign, Mr Johnson set out his pitch to the membership in a speech at the party's annual conference in October.

He called on the party to return to its traditional values of low tax, strong policing and not to follow the policies of the left-wing Labour Party.

Meanwhile, Mrs May held talks with senior Tories at Westminster amid growing pressure for her to name the date of her departure.

She met the executive of the powerful backbench 1922 Committee for around an hour-and-a-half in her room in the House of Commons.

Following the meeting, which lasted longer than expected, members of the 18-strong executive were set to have further private talks to consider their next steps.

There was no immediate word as to how the talks went.

But ahead of the talks, committee treasurer Geoffrey Clifton-Brown said: "It would be infinitely preferable if she set a date rather than us force her out.

"It's better that she does it than we have a vote of confidence.

"What I would like to see is her set out a timetable to trigger a leadership contest."

Members of the executive are now expected to discuss whether to change the rules for the Tory leadership contest to enable an early challenge.

At present, Mrs May cannot be challenged again as leader until December.