Nancy Pelosi stands as leader of US House Democrats

Nancy Pelosi, who led the Democrats in the US House of Representatives for nearly two decades, has announced she is stepping down from the role.

The 82-year-old is the most powerful Democrat in Congress and the first woman to serve as Speaker of the House.

She will continue to represent her California district in the lower chamber of Congress.

It comes as Republicans are projected to take back control of the House after the midterm elections.

Republican Kevin McCarthy has won the party's nomination to be speaker in the new Congress and is likely to succeed Mrs. Pelosi.

"I never imagined that someday I would go from homemaker to House Speaker," Pelosi said in a statement to the chamber on Thursday.

"I will not seek re-election for the Democratic leadership in the next Congress.

Mrs Pelosi will serve as speaker until January when a new Congress takes office, and will hold the seat she first held in 1987 until January 2025.

Mrs. Pelosi became the Minority Leader, a title held by the person who led the opposition in the House in 2003.

  His speeches and press conferences were hardly inspirational.

In a statement on Thursday, President Biden called Mrs. Pelosi "the most important speaker of the House of Representatives in our history