LONDON, July 18 - The Queen of England and the United Kingdom today announced her decision to abdicate, following the 'Millygate' phone hacking scandal which has seen a number of prominent individuals step down from their posts.
In a short statement released by the Palace today, the Queen said : "The recent revelations have saddened me more than I can say. I have always tried to do my duty by this country, but on this occasion I have fallen short of the high standards the country rightly expects. It would be wrong to hide behind the fact that I did not know - I ought to have known. It happened on my watch, and the buck stops here - at Buckingham Palace".
Earlier in the day the governing body of English cricket, the MCC, announced that they were to disband themselves - a spokesman saying that "In the current climate, when such appalling disclosures have been made, it is unthinkable that we should continue to devote ourselves to what is in the end only a game. As token of our most earnest and sincere contrition, Lords is to be demolished and the outfield sown with salt."