- A group of cabinet ministers, including the chief whip, are about to tell the PM to resign, BBC News understands
- Nadhim Zahawi, only yesterday appointed as chancellor, is believed to be among them – as are Transport Secretary Grant Shapps and NI Secretary Brandon Lewis
- Michael Gove and Kwasi Kwarteng, both senior members of the cabinet, have also told Johnson to step down
- At least 36 ministers and aides have quit the government since yesterday when Sajid Javid and Rishi Sunak said they were resigning
- MPs are angry at Johnson’s handling of sexual misconduct claims against former deputy chief whip Chris Pincher
- Johnson has insisted he won’t leave No 10, despite the growing Tory revolt
- The 1922 committee of Tory MPs won’t be changing its rules to allow another confidence vote in Johnson – though elections to the committee next week could change that
Edited by Nathan Williams
We’re hearing lots of talk of a group of ministers in Downing Street, who are going to tell Boris Johnson to resign.
Nadhim Zahawi, who was appointed Chancellor yesterday by Boris Johnson
Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis (who is currently held up by airport delays in Belfast)
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps
Welsh Secretary Simon Hart
There are reports of two separate groups, with one made up of loyalists. Certainly we saw Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries go into No 10 earlier, and we haven’t heard that she has withdrawn her support.
International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan has also been spotted going into No 10, although it is not clear which group she could be part of.
In the last few minutes, Boris Johnson has been holding his “entirely normal, weekly audience with the Queen”, reports our political editor Chris Mason.
The PM has also been speaking to ministers who would want him to go, but others who want to see him stay. We know two groups are currently in Downing St.
The prime minister has been saying that while he has faced dozens of ministerial resignations, he’s been stressing that “millions” voted for him.
A bullish Johnson has been asking whether any of the people likely to replace him would be able to “replicate his electoral success at the next election”.
An unnamed MP close to Boris Johnson tonight described some of his critics as “treacherous”.
The situation – with some of his cabinet ministers urging him to quit – echoes that which faced Margaret Thatcher in 1990. When several senior ministers told her then her time was up, she did resign.
Political Correspondent, BBC News
There are two scenarios here – I’m told by government sources.
One – the prime minister accepts his cabinet ministers’ call to resign, which would eventually trigger a leadership contest. Or two – he doesn’t accept their call, some of them would then most likely resign.
Then it’s up to the new 1922 executive committee – when elected – to decide if they should change Tory leadership rules to allow for a second vote of confidence in the PM which, as it stands, it doesn’t look like he has a huge amount of support to win again.
And yet another resignation… David Duguid has quit as a trade envoy. The MP for Banff and Buchan says in a statement: “In light of recent events, I believe the Prime Minister’s position is now untenable.
“Having indicated my concerns internally earlier this week, it is my intention to stand down from my position as Fisheries Envoy and Trade Envoy for Angola and Zambia.”
The 1922 committee has decided that it won’t force the PM put – just yet.
Instead it will hold a speedy election, with a new executive being formed on Monday. It would then have the power to change the rules to allow another confidence vote.
The rationale is that would be fairer – a recently elected executive would have the support of the Tory party in Parliament.
But this could all be overtaken by events in Downing St, where several key cabinet ministers are urging the PM to stand down before he’s forced out.
Prior to the liaison committee meeting which finished at 5pm, the number of ministers and aides that had resigned was 27. That number has now jumped to 37.
The ten new resignations are:
- Rachel Maclean, safeguarding minister
- Mike Freer, trade minister
Parliamentary private secretaries (PPS)
- Duncan Baker, PPS at the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities
- Craig Williams, PPS at the Treasury
- Mark Logan, PPS at the Northern Ireland Office
- Mark Fletcher, PPS at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
- Sara Britcliffe, PPS at the Department for Education
- Ruth Edwards, PPS at the Scottish Office
- Peter Gibson, PPS at the Department for International Trade
- James Sunderland, PPS at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
It’s been a very busy day – and there is more to come, so stay with us. But if you need a quick recap, here’s what’s happened so far:
Cabinet delegation: A group of cabinet ministers is preparing to tell Boris Johnson inside No 10 that he should stand down as prime minister. The ministers include Grant Shapps, and the newly promoted Chancellor Nadhim Zawahi
Time to go: Michael Gove and Kwasi Kwarteng have also told the PM he has to go
No confidence vote: The 1922 committee of Conservative MPs has decided not to change its rules to allow a repeat no-confidence vote in the PM – at least not yet. Instead a new executive will be elected on Monday and they may decide to change the rules
PM questioned: The prime minister has appeared in front of the Liaision Committee – which gives MPs the chance to question Johnson on a number of issues and the government’s actions. At lunchtime, Johnson endured a combative PMQs, facing noise, derision and opposition from all sides of the House.
Resignations: At least 36 ministers and aides have resigned since early evening on Tuesday, led by cabinet ministers Rishi Sunak and Sajid Javid. Shortly after PMQs, five ministers resigned in one letter, urging Boris Johnson “to step aside”
Javid speech: In an impassioned resignation speech, former Health Secretary Sajid Javid told the Commons “enough is enough”
Johnson defiant: Johnson insists he sees no reason to call an early election. His loyalists remain determined that the prime minister is fulfilling the mandate given to the Conservative Party by the British public in 2019