White House spokesman Jay Carney to step down

After more than three years of jousting with the White House press corps, President Barack Obama's chief spokesman, Jay Carney, will step down next month to pursue yet-to-be-named opportunities, Mr Obama has announced.

President Obama said that White House press secretary Jay Carney will be stepping down Credit: Olivier Douliery/ABACA USA/Empics Entertainment

The president interrupted Carney on the podium, where he was answering questions during the White House daily news briefing, catching reporters by surprise.

Obama called Carney one of his closest friends and advisers, and said he was "not thrilled" when Carney first told him in April that he wanted to leave.