Ontario Progressive Leader Tim Hudak has told his party he'll be stepping aside from his leadership role in two weeks' time.

Hudak has sent a letter to the PC caucus, announcing his intent to step down as leader on July 2. The Canadian Press reports that the letter was sent out today.

Last week, the Progressive Conservatives lost nine seats in the election and failed to form the government. That night, Hudak said he would stay on as an MPP, but would not be leading his party into the next election.

In the letter sent to the PC caucus on Wednesday, Hudak defended the campaign the Tories ran, even if it did not result in an election win.

"We were honest with Ontarians about the mess this province is in and clearly outlined what we believe is the best path forward," Hudak said.

At the first caucus meeting after the election, at least one Tory was calling for Hudak to depart sooner rather than later.

The outgoing PC leader referenced that meeting in his letter to the caucus. Hudak said that it appears that "a significant number" of caucus members favour "a prolonged transition period before a new leader is selected." By stepping down on July 2, Hudak said, the party will be able to put a transition leader in place as the new legislative session gets underway.

Hudak was elected as the Ontario PC leader nearly five years ago. The married father of two has served as a member of the legislature for the past 19 years.

The full letter is posted below. 

With files from The Canadian Press