Boris Johnson has sacked his levelling up Secretary Michael Gove as he fights tonight to stay in his post
Gove told Boris Johnson earlier today that he should step down while the Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has told the chief whip that he believes Boris Johnson has to go for the good of the country
Johnson has refused to quit despite calls from Cabinet colleagues, insisting that he would continue to focus on the “hugely important issues facing the country”
Meanwhile Simon Hart the Welsh Secretary has resigned saying that he wanted to help Boris Johnson “turn the ship around” but “we have passed the point where this is possible”.
The Prime Minister has also lost a Health minister Edward Argar who has supported the Johnson but is now calling for change
Earlier a group of cabinet ministers including the newly appointed Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi, Grant Shapps, Brandon Lewis and Simon Hart were waiting for PM in Downing Street to tell him to go
Priti Patel,it has been said,has sided with the group of Cabinet ministers calling for PM to go
The home secretary – one of Johnson’s most loyal supporters – believes there’s no way he can continue to govern without the support of his party
Grant Shapps told the PM that he stands little chance of winning another confidence vote – and advised him a more dignified exit would be for him
There have been more resignations from ministers this afternoon as the Prime Minuster faced a grilling from the House of Commons Liaison committee
During that meeting Conservative MP for Hazel Grove William Wragg asks Johnson “At which point does it become impossible for the Queen’s government to be continued?”
Johnson replied : “I really think you are underestimating the talent, energy and sheer ambition of Members of Parliament, and they want to get things done. The Government of this country is continuing with ever-increasing energy.”
Wragg then said even more Tories had resigned in the time Mr Johnson had faced the committee, and asked whether the PM thought there was sufficient supply “of those young thrusters on the back benches” to replace them. Mr Johnson said: “I think it highly likely, yes.”
Mike Freer has resigned as the minister for exports and as the minister for equalities.
The Tory MP said in his resignation letter: “It is with deep regret that I must write to resign as both Minister for Exports and Minister for Equalities while Huw Merriman, the Conservative chairman of the Transport Select Committee, has issued a statement calling for Boris Johnson to quit.
Rachel Maclean has resigned as a Home Office minister while Bolton MP Mark Logan has resigned as parliamentary private secretary at the Northern Ireland Office.
Craig Williams, the Conservative MP for Montgomeryshire, has also announced he is resigning as parliamentary private secretary to the Chancellor.
The number of ministers who have now quit since yesterday is now 45