Sterling hit a session high Thursday following multiple unconfirmed reports that Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to resign.
The pound rose 0.35% against the U.S. dollar to trade at $1.1971 around 9.25 a.m. London time.
Meanwhile the FTSE 100 stock index rose 0.7% following the reports, which were not independently verified by CNBC or NBC News.
In bond markets, the 10-year U.K. government bond yield rose to hit 2.153%.
It comes after more than 50 MPs resigned from Johnson’s government within 48 hours.
The prime minister has been under increasing pressure since Tuesday, when two government heavy weights, the health and finance minister, resigned from office. This led to a cascade of departures from government.
It follows a premiership plagued by scandals and allegations of misleading the public, but the final straw for many MPs involves Conservative lawmaker Chris Pincher. The former deputy chief whip was suspended last week amid accusations that he drunkenly groped two men at a private members club.
Johnson on Tuesday apologized for appointing Pincher deputy chief whip — a senior party role — despite knowing of an investigation into his behavior in 2019.
The revelation that Johnson knew of the misconduct allegations prompted the resignations on Tuesday of Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Sajid Javid.
In a resignation speech to parliament Wednesday, Javid, also a former chancellor, said “treading the tightrope between loyalty and integrity has become impossible in recent months.”
Johnson narrowly survived a confidence vote from Conservative MPs last month, but many of those previously backing his leadership have now abandoned their support.
This is a breaking news story and will be updated shortly.