BREAKING: It’s official! Zayn Malik has left One Direction

One Direction have officially announced that Zayn Malik is no longer a part of the band after five years.

Taking to their Facebook page, the band wrote:

“After five incredible years Zayn Malik has decided to leave One Direction. Niall, Harry, Liam and Louis will continue as a four-piece and look forward to the forthcoming concerts of their world tour and
recording their fifth album, due to be released later this year.”

Zayn also released a statement regarding the news, writing:

"My life with One Direction has been more than I could ever have imagined. But, after five years, I feel like it is now the right time for me to leave the band. I'd like to apologise to the fans if I've let anyone down, but I have to do what feels right in my heart. I am leaving because I want to be a normal 22-year-old who is able to relax and have some private time out of the spotlight. I know I have four friends for life in Louis, Liam, Harry and Niall. I know they will continue to be the best band in the world."

Well, that’s it ladies – Zayn is gone and we are completely devastated.

Thankfully, Simon Cowell says that the band WILL go ahead as a four-piece. Phew!

 "I would like to say thank you to Zayn for everything he has done for One Direction. Since I first met Zayn in 2010, I have grown very, very fond – and immensely proud – of him. I have seen him grow in confidence and I am truly sorry to see him leave. As for One Direction, fans can rest assured that Niall, Liam, Harry and Louis are hugely excited about the future of the band."

Speculation regarding Zayn's future in the band has been under scrutiny since last week when he was accused of cheating on his fiancée  Perrie Edwards. Clearly annoyed about the rumours regarding his love life, Zayn took to Twitter and wrote: "I'm 22 years old…I love a girl named Perrie Edwards. And there's a lot of jealous fu*** in this world and I'm sorry for what it looks like x."

What a very dramatic ten minutes this has been – we need to lie down.