Kevin McCarthy finally becomes House Speaker on 15th round of voting; Matt Gaetz loses interest after count enters teens

In return for unspecified concessions, the GOP's far right finally fell into line Friday night and voted for party leader Kevin McCarthy as House Speaker. Even at the end, though, it took one more round of voting than expected, after Republican members Matt Gaetz and Lauren Boebert nailed McCarthy's 14th attempt by voting "Present" instead of "Yes"—forcing a 15th and final round which finally saw McCarthy win the seat.

It came after a dramatic pressure campaign played out live on the House floor as party rebel Matt Gaetz was urged to vote for Mr McCarthy. The Florida Congressman was among six holdouts who relented late on Friday. Earlier, amid heated scenes in the chamber, Mr Gaetz had almost come to blows with Rep Mike Rogers – a supporter of Mr McCarthy. The Alabama congressman had to be physically restrained by colleagues as he bellowed and jabbed his finger at Mr Gaetz.