Chief Secretary Carrie Lam has said that her only reason for resigning is to run for chief executive, should her resignation be approved.

She met members of the press at 5pm at the Central Government Complex after submitting her resignation to Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying on Thursday. Her request has been submitted it to the Central People’s Government.

“I told the Chief Executive in my resignation letter that there is only one reason for me to resign at this juncture, and that is – if my resignation is approved by the Central People’s Government – I intend to prepare to contest in the upcoming chief executive election.”

Carrie Lam. Photo: RTHK screenshot.

She said it was an honour and privilege to have served the people of Hong Kong for over 36 years.

“I wish to take this opportunity to thank the incumbent chief executive, and the former CEs for their support, and all the politically appointed officials for their teamwork cooperation, the civil service colleagues for their dedication and hard work, and many members of the Legislative Council, District Councils, professional institutions and NGOs, and many civic-minded individuals who served on the various government boards and committee during my tenure in various capacities over the years.”

Lam will take leave from Friday. She added that, if her resignation is approved, she will seek an opportunity to share her next steps.

Lam is set to join Woo Kwok-hing and Regina Ip in the Chief Executive race. John Tsang is also expected to join. Photo: HKFP/Apple Daily/GovHK.

She did not answer reporters’ questions before leaving.

Secretary for Labour and Welfare Matthew Cheung Kin-chung will be the acting Chief Secretary.

‘God’ told Lam to resign

Lam attended a closed door seminar of top government officials on Thursday morning.

Apple Daily cited a source as saying that, during a closed door lunch with the officials, Lam, a Catholic, said it was God who told her to resign and join the leadership race.

Ronald Arculli. Photo: HKFP.

Ronald Arculli, who was rumoured to be the head of Lam’s potential campaign, did not answer reporters’ questions ahead of Lam’s press conference. He was attending a meeting of the Consultation Panel of the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority on Thursday afternoon at Cyberport.

Financial Secretary John Tsang resigned from his position on December 12 last year. A month later, his resignation has yet to be approved by Beijing.

Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.