Boris Johnson resignation: 'Them's the breaks' - PM speaks of pain as he blames 'the herd' for ousting him

·35 min read

Boris Johnson has told the nation he is resigning as Conservative Party leader and will step down as Prime Minister later this year as he bemoaned being forced out of No 10 but insisted: "Them's the breaks."

Speaking in Downing Street, Mr Johnson said: "It is clearly now the will of the parliamentary Conservative Party that there should be a new leader of that party and therefore a new Prime Minister.

"I have agreed with Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of our backbench MPs that the process of choosing that new leader should begin now and the timetable will be announced next week and I have today appointed a Cabinet to serve as I will until a new leader is in place."

Mr Johnson said it was "painful" that he will not be able to "see through so many ideas and projects myself".

He suggested he believed he had been the victim of Westminster's "herd" mentality as he said: "As we have seen at Westminster, the herd instinct is powerful and when the herd moves, it moves and my friends in politics no one is remotely indispensable".

Mr Johnson said he was leaving the "best job in the world" but "them's the breaks".

​​Follow the latest updates below.

12:45 PM

'Them's the breaks'

Boris Johnson said: "To that new leader, I say, whoever he or she may be, I say I will give you as much support as I can.

"And to you, the British public, I know that there will be many people who are relieved and perhaps quite a few who will also be disappointed and I want you to know how sad I am to be giving up the best job in the world.

"But them's the breaks."

12:43 PM

'When the herd moves, it moves'

Boris Johnson suggested he had been the victim of a "herd" mentality.

He said: "As we have seen at Westminster, the herd instinct is powerful and when the herd moves, it moves and my friends in politics no one is remotely indispensable and our brilliant Darwinian system will produce another leader, equally committed to taking this country forward through tough times."

12:41 PM

PM admits exit from No 10 is painful

Boris Johnson said: "In the last few days I have tried to persuade my colleagues that it would be eccentric to change governments when we are delivering so much and when we have such a vast mandate and when we are actually only a handful of points behind in the polls, even in mid-term after quite a few months of pretty relentless sledging and when the economic scene is so difficult domestically and internationally.

"I regret not to have been successful in those arguments and of course it is painful not to be able to see through so many ideas and projects myself."

12:37 PM

PM fought to stay in No 10 because it was his 'job, duty and obligation'

Boris Johnson said he had been given an "incredible mandate" at the 2019 general election.

He said that "the reason I have fought so hard in the last few days to continue to deliver that mandate in person was not just because I wanted to do so, but because I felt it was my job, my duty, my obligation to you to continue to do what we promised in 2019".

12:33 PM

Boris Johnson confirms resignation

Boris Johnson has announced he is resigning as Tory leader and will stand down as PM once a successor has been chosen.

Speaking in Downing Street, he said: "It is clearly now the will of the parliamentary conservative party that there should be a new leader of that party and therefore a new Prime Minister.

"I have agreed with Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of our backbench MPs that the process of choosing that new leader should begin now and the timetable will be announced next week and I have today appointed a Cabinet to serve as I will until a new leader is in place."

12:31 PM

Carrie Johnson joins No 10 on Downing Street

Carrie Johnson, Boris Johnson's wife, has now joined No 10 staff and aides on Downing Street.

She is flanked by Nadine Dorries, the Culture Secretary.

12:29 PM

Last minute changes being made in Downing Street

The lectern has just been moved slightly so that it is directly in front of the famous black door of No 10.

Officials have just made sure the microphones are working.

We are expecting to see Boris Johnson very shortly.

12:25 PM

Lectern now in place in Downing Street

A lectern has now been placed in the middle of Downing Street.

No10 aides and officials have come out onto the street to watch the PM's statement in person.

Numerous Tory MPs have also gathered.

12:24 PM

'Mood is nervous' in Downing Street

Mason Boycott-Owen is in the journalists’ bullpen on the Downing Street pavement. He writes:

Downing Street is overflowing with journalists waiting for the famous black door to open, and Boris Johnson to resign.

The mood is nervous, as rumours that Mr Johnson is making changes to his drafted speech reach the crowd in the pen.

The current Prime Minister has always been famous for last minute alterations scribbled hastily on a laboured-over draft, but could this provide yet another surprise in a wholly unprecedented week?

As someone who saw Theresa May resign on this same street three years ago, the mood is largely the same: everyone knows what’s coming, it’s just a question of when.

There is no lectern in the road outside the door, the sure sign that Boris Johnson will announce that he’s stepping down.

The news helicopter can be seen in the sky just above No 10’s twin flags of Ukraine and the UK, and everyone is waiting.

12:22 PM

PM statement expected at 12.30pm

Boris Johnson is expected to deliver his resignation statement at approximately 12.30pm.

The expectation is that Mr Johnson will speak from a lectern in the street - just like Theresa May did three years ago.

12:18 PM

Andrew Stephenson made Minister without Portfolio

Andrew Stephenson has been appointed as Minister without Portfolio, Downing Street has announced.

He will attend Cabinet.

12:10 PM

Shailesh Vara made Northern Ireland Secretary

Downing Street has announced that Shailesh Vara has been appointed Northern Ireland Secretary following the resignation of Brandon Lewis this morning.

12:05 PM

Kit Malthouse appointed Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster

Kit Malthouse has been appointed to the role of Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.

It is a promotion for Mr Malthouse who up until this point was the policing minister.

11:56 AM

Robert Buckland made Welsh Secretary

Sir Robert Buckland has been appointed as the new Welsh Secretary, Downing Street has announced.

The former justice secretary will take on the role after the resignation of Simon Hart last night.

11:55 AM

'He needs to go completely'

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said Boris Johnson must not be allowed to linger in office and must be removed immediately.

He threatened to use a Commons vote of no confidence procedure to attempt to oust the Prime Minister unless he hands over the reins to another premier.

Sir Keir told reporters in Westminster: “He needs to go completely. None of this nonsense about clinging on for a few months. He’s inflicted lies, fraud and chaos in the country. We’re stuck with a government which isn’t functioning in the middle of a cost of living crisis. And all of those that have been propping him up should be utterly ashamed of themselves.”

He added: "If they don't get rid of him then Labour will step up in the national interest and bring a vote of no confidence because we can't go on with this Prime Minister clinging on for months and months to come."

11:51 AM

Old Boris Johnson column going viral

An article written by Boris Johnson for The Telegraph in 2010 is currently going viral.

In the piece, Mr Johnson comments on Gordon Brown's attempt to stay in No 10 after the 2010 general election.

It begins:

"The whole thing is unbelievable. As I write these words, Gordon Brown is still holed up in Downing Street. He is like some illegal settler in the Sinai desert, lashing himself to the radiator, or like David Brent haunting The Office in that excruciating episode when he refuses to acknowledge that he has been sacked..."

You can read the full article here.

11:47 AM

James Cleverly appointed Education Secretary

James Cleverly is the new Education Secretary, Downing Street has announced.

11:44 AM

Cabinet appointments now formally underway

Downing Street has announced that former business secretary Greg Clark is the new Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

11:36 AM

PM set to announce new Cabinet

The Telegraph understands that a new Cabinet is about to be announced as Boris Johnson tries to stay in power until October.

It is thought James Cleverly will be the new Education Secretary, Robert Buckland will be Welsh Secretary and Greg Clark will be Communities Secretary.

11:33 AM

Lord Heseltine: 'If Boris goes, Brexit goes'

Lord Heseltine has said that "if Boris goes, Brexit goes" as he urged the next Conservative Party leader to bolster the UK's ties with Brussels.

He told Sky News: "The critical thing here is that Boris is associated with one major policy, and that is Brexit. I coined the phrase 'if Boris goes, Brexit goes'."

He said the next PM should establish a "more positive relationship with Europe".

You can read the full story here.

11:27 AM

Tory MPs criticise PM plan to stay in No 10 until October

Several Tory MPs have criticised the Prime Minister's plan to stay in Downing Street until the Conservative Party conference in October, writes Camilla Turner. 

Former deputy Party chair Sir Bob Neill asked how long a caretaker PM can remain in place, questioning whether it may be in everyone's interests to "speed up the transition as much as possible".

Aaron Bell, Conservative MP for Newcastle-under-Lyme, said it will "not be tenable" for the PM to continue as a caretaker if he cannot fill ministerial vacancies.

And Matthew Offord, Conservative MP for Hendon, highlighted the number of ministers who have resigned from their posts over the past 48 hours, adding that the "governance of this country cannot be allowed to fail". He asked: "When will the vacancies be filled? They must be filled immediately". 

11:22 AM

Boris Johnson planning to try to fill ministerial roles

Boris Johnson is planning to try to fill empty ministerial roles as he looks to stay in No 10 as caretaker PM until October.

A No 10 source said: "The Prime Minister will shortly make new appointments to his ministerial team."

The argument for doing so is that the Government needs to keep functioning until a successor is chosen.

But it remains unclear whether Mr Johnson will be able to fill the roles given that many Tory MPs are adamant he should leave No 10 immediately.

11:07 AM

Minister insists 'business of Government continues'

Angela Rayner, deputy Labour leader, was granted an urgent question in the House of Commons this morning on the functioning of the Government amid the chaos in Downing Street.

Ms Rayner said it was “good news for the country” that Boris Johnson is expected to resign, but warned “Britain has no functioning Government”.

Ms Rayner told Michael Ellis, the Minister for the Cabinet Office, said: “I hate to break it to the minister but we don’t have a functioning Government."

Mr Ellis insisted that the "business of Government continues”.

11:03 AM

Tory MP: PM should leave No 10 now if he cannot fill ministerial roles

Aaron Bell, a 2019-intake Tory representing Newcastle-under-Lyme, said that if Boris can’t fill the vacancies made by ministerial resignations, then he should not continue as a caretaker prime minister.

“I am glad he has finally come to his senses and will be making this statement shortly,” Mr Bell told the Commons during an urgent question on the functioning of the Government.

“I am very, very sad that in the last 48 hours, so many colleagues have felt the need to resign from government.

“If those people will not serve this Prime Minister, can I ask [Michael Ellis] to convey to the Prime Minister that it will not be tenable for him to continue as a caretaker if he cannot fill the ministerial appointments he needs to.”

Michael Ellis, the Minister for the Cabinet Office, said: “I’m sure my friend’s comment has been noted."

10:56 AM

The issues that will define the Tory leadership race

10:53 AM

Labour currently ahead in the polls

10:52 AM

Ian Blackford welcomes PM's resignation

Ian Blackford, the SNP's leader in Westminster, said: "Boris Johnson's resignation is welcome but for Scotland it changes very little – we’re still controlled by a Westminster system that saw fit to make him Prime Minister.

"Whoever replaces him, Scotland will still be saddled with a Tory government we didn't vote for imposing Brexit, austerity cuts and damaging policies against Scotland's will."

10:49 AM

Dominic Cummings: PM must be 'evicted' from No 10 today

Dominic Cummings, Boris Johnson's former chief adviser in Downing Street, has said the Prime Minister should be "evicted" from No 10 today or the premier will "cause carnage".

Mr Cummings, a vocal critic of Mr Johnson, said Dominic Raab, the Deputy Prime Minister, should be made interim PM "by evening".

10:46 AM

Liz Truss cuts short trip to G20 summit

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss is cutting short an official trip to Indonesia for a G20 summit and will issue a statement shortly, sources close to her said.

Ms Truss is widely seen as a potential Tory leadership contender.

10:43 AM

Which PM has lasted the longest in No 10?

10:41 AM

Commons sitting as normal as No 10 meltdown continues

Despite the chaos in No 10, business in the House of Commons is underway as normal this morning.

The day started with Digital, Culture, Media and Sport questions with Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries answering questions on her brief.

Some Labour MPs took the opportunity to slip in some jibes about the current state of affairs in Downing Street.

Kevin Brennan, Labour MP for Cardiff West, asked: “With the announcement just now that the Prime Minister has resigned as leader of the Conservative Party, will his temporary occupation of Downing Street over the summer qualify as a short term holiday let?”

10:39 AM

PM planning to speak to Zelensky after resignation statement

10:27 AM

Lord Heseltine: PM should not stay in No 10 as caretaker

Lord Heseltine, the former deputy prime minister, has said Boris Johnson should step down as PM immediately.

He told Sky News that an acting PM should take over until Mr Johnson's replacement is chosen.

He said: "I am absolutely clear that we need a deputy prime minister to act in the interregnum before the new prime minister is chosen.

"It is quite obvious that Boris Johnson if he actually were allowed to stay is going to try and put through a range of policies which will bolster his position, presumably for another go or something like that.

"So that is unthinkable. We are now dealing with a very short period in which a new leader is chosen and there will have to be a pause in serious policy initiatives."

10:21 AM

Kwasi Kwarteng: 'What a depressing state of affairs'

Kwasi Kwarteng, the Business Secretary, said there needs to be a new leader of the Conservative Party "as soon as practicable" as he bemoaned the "depressing state of affairs" in Westminster.

Mr Kwarteng said Boris Johnson's replacement must be able to "rebuild trust" and "heal the country".

10:12 AM

'We need an acting PM'

Former schools minister Nick Gibb has said Boris Johnson should step down as Prime Minister immediately.

He tweeted: "As well as resigning as party leader the PM must resign his office. After losing so many ministers, he has lost the trust and authority required to continue.

“We need an acting PM who is not a candidate for leader to stabilise the government while a new leader is elected.”

10:10 AM

David Davis 'not too bothered' at PM being caretaker

Veteran Tory MP and former Brexit Secretary David Davis has said he is “not too bothered” about Boris Johnson possibly remaining as Prime Minister until later this year.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “The simple truth, this is going to take a month or two.

“We’re hearing from people who were happy to be in Cabinet one week ago that we have now got to do this in five minutes flat.

“I’m not too bothered about the idea of Boris staying in place until we’ve got a new leadership.”

10:08 AM

PM 'has spoken to the Queen'

Buckingham Palace declined to comment on whether the Queen has had any communication with Boris Johnson this morning.

The Queen is at Windsor Castle and the Court Circular recorded that she held her weekly audience by telephone with Mr Johnson on Wednesday evening.

But reports suggest that Mr Johnson has spoken to the Queen today. This tweet is from Anushka Asthana, the deputy political editor at ITV News:

10:03 AM

Will PM be able to stay on until October?

Boris Johnson wants to stay on as caretaker PM until the Conservative Party conference in October.

However, it is currently unclear whether Tory MPs will agree to this as some believe he should step down with immediate effect and hand power to an interim PM - potentially the Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab.

The setting of the departure timetable will be a matter for the 1922 Committee Executive.

There will now be negotiations between the 1922 and No 10 about the exact terms of the PM's departure.

09:58 AM

Investors hanging their hopes on an end to political turmoil

Sterling has gained ground as markets take comfort from Boris Johnson’s impending resignation.

The pound rose as much as 0.6pc against the dollar to $1.1994. Against the euro, it rose 0.3pc to 85.16p.

Investors are hanging their hopes on an end to the political turmoil that has rocked Westminster in recent months and a new period of stability under a new leader.

Stocks also extended their gains. The FTSE 250, which is focused on the domestic market, rose as much as 0.9pc.

However, analysts warned the relief from Boris Johnson’s departure could be short-lived, with traders still focused on broader economic troubles such as soaring inflation and the risk of a recession.

You can follow the latest on the economy on our business live blog here.

09:54 AM

Nicola Sturgeon questions if PM can stay in post as caretaker

Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister of Scotland, has questioned whether Boris Johnson will be able to serve as caretaker PM while his successor as Tory leader is chosen.

She tweeted: "There will be a widespread sense of relief that the chaos of the last few days (indeed months) will come to an end, though notion of Boris Johnson staying on as PM until autumn seems far from ideal, and surely not sustainable?

"Boris Johnson was always manifestly unfit to be PM and the Tories should never have elected him leader or sustained him in office for as long as they have. But the problems run much deeper than one individual. The Westminster system is broken."

Ms Sturgeon also said that while her "differences with Boris Johnson are many and profound", leadership is "difficult and brings with it many stresses and strains, and so on a personal level I wish him and his family well".

09:50 AM

Tory MP quits trade envoy role

Richard Graham, Tory MP for Gloucester, has stepped down as the Government's trade envoy to several south-east Asian nations after 10 years in the role, stating it is vital to “have full confidence in the leadership and integrity of the government that I represent”.

he told Boris Johnson in his resignation letter: “For some time I have hoped that you would be able to turn this around, but sadly I no longer believe this is possible."

09:49 AM

Therese Coffey to stay in post

Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey has said she will remain in office to ensure the “wheels of government keep turning”.

In a statement on Twitter, after it was confirmed that Boris Johnson intends to resign, she said: “I asked to speak to the PM yesterday evening and had still hoped to do so today. I fully understand colleagues’ concerns and the very bad situation we are now in.

“The wheels of government need, though, to keep turning, especially at DWP which helps the most vulnerable in society.

“DWP needs to be firing on all cylinders to support them, especially with the cost-of-living payment beginning to be paid next week as part of our help for households.”

09:47 AM

Resignations continue

Tory MPs are continuing to quit their Government roles.

Environment minister Rebecca Pow has resigned. She said: "Earlier this morning I tendered my resignation as Environment Minister. Values, integrity and the morals by which I live are at stake, and the needs of the country must always come first.”

Luke Hall has quit as deputy chairman of the Conservative Party.

He said: “The current situation is clearly untenable. I have spent many years supporting the Conservative Party at every level, but that loyalty is directed to the party, our values, and ultimately the communities we represent, not any one individual."

09:42 AM

Sir Keir Starmer: 'We need a proper change of government'

Sir Keir Starmer, the Labour leader, has now responded to the news that Boris Johnson is resigning as Conservative Party leader.

Sir Keir said it is "good news for the country" but it "should have happened long ago".

He said in a statement: "He was always unfit for office. He has been responsible for lies, scandal and fraud on an industrial scale. And all those who have been complicit should be utterly ashamed.

"The Tory Party have inflicted chaos upon the country during the worst cost of living crisis in decades. And they cannot now pretend they are the ones to sort it out. They have been in power for 12 years. The damage they have done is profound."

Sir Keir said that "enough is enough" and "we don’t need to change the Tory at the top – we need a proper change of government".

09:38 AM

Ex-minister: PM should apologise to the Queen

09:33 AM

Lib Dems: Public won't forgive Tories for propping up PM

Sir Ed Davey, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, said the public will not forgive Tory MPs for "propping up" Boris Johnson "for so long".

He said: "It has always been clear that Boris Johnson is unfit to lead our country. The public won't forgive the Conservatives for propping him up for so long.

“Conservative MPs have spent months defending Boris Johnson instead of focusing on the cost-of-living crisis and the crisis in our NHS.

“Across the country, lifelong conservative voters are fed up with being taken for granted. Johnson or no Johnson, trust in the Conservative Party has gone and it will not be coming back.”

09:31 AM

Pound trading higher

The pound was trading higher on the news of Boris Johnson’s resignation – up 0.6 per cent at 1.198 US dollars and 0.4 per cent stronger at 1.174 euros.

09:23 AM

Boris Johnson to address the nation

Boris Johnson will address the nation later today.

A No 10 spokesman said: “The Prime Minister will make a statement to the country today."

The BBC reported that the statement is likely to take place before lunchtime.

09:15 AM

Boris Johnson to resign today

Boris Johnson is resigning as Conservative Party leader.

Mr Johnson has spoken to Tory 1922 Committee chairman Sir Graham Brady and agreed to stand down, with a new Tory leader set to be in place by the party conference in October, a No 10 source said.

09:09 AM

Defence Secretary clear he is staying in post

09:07 AM

Growing speculation No 10 preparing PM resignation statement

There is now growing speculation in Westminster that No 10 is preparing a Boris Johnson resignation statement.

These tweets from Sam Coates, the deputy political editor at Sky News, paint the picture:

08:54 AM

Michelle Donelan quits as Education Secretary

08:52 AM

Nadhim Zahawi publicly calls for PM to quit

08:43 AM

'Circumstances have dramatically changed'

Suella Braverman defended her previous allegiance to Boris Johnson, stressing that things have changed in recent days that have now made his position untenable.

“Circumstances have dramatically changed in the last 48 hours. I’ve constantly supported the Prime Minister in a steadfast fashion,” the Attorney General told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

She denied she is behaving opportunistically.

“The writing’s on the wall. I can’t fight the evidence and the facts we’ve had,” she said.

08:33 AM

Suella Braverman insists Government is functioning

Suella Braverman has insisted the Government is still "technically" functioning.

The Attorney General told the BBC: "Technically yes, we do, we do have an Executive functioning, organ of the state..."

Ms Braverman said she has not quit her Cabinet role because she believes her "first and foremost duty is to the country" and she wants to ensure the Government continues to run.

08:30 AM

Suella Braverman: PM 'must stand down"

Suella Braverman, the Attorney General, is still a minister but has called for Boris Johnson to resign.

She told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme that the "facts are undeniable, he can't command the confidence of sufficient numbers of people to serve in his Government, he can't engender the support of the parliamentary party and that is why it is so regrettable for us today... to reach the conclusion that he sadly must stand down".

Asked if she had spoken to the PM to convey that message, Ms Braverman said: "I haven't actually spoken to him directly. I have informed the whips of my view, but it seems to me that yesterday there were a lot of people telling the Prime Minister directly this very message, and it seemed by the end of the day that message wasn't being taken heed of."

08:24 AM

Steve Baker considering bid to be PM

Steve Baker, the former Brexit minister, has confirmed he is considering running to be the next Tory leader, if and when a contest takes place.

Asked if he would stand, he told the BBC: “Well, I have to think about it very seriously. As a working class kid from Cornwall I would never have imagined I would seriously be in your programme talking to you about me becoming prime minister.

“But the reality is some people I deeply respect are telling me, even imploring me to do it, and so I must consider it seriously.”

He added: “It would be wrong of me to take it lightly but I am realistic that it seems to me quite improbable that the rebel commander… with no Cabinet experience should win.

“But equally it would be wrong of me to lightly dismiss serious people saying I should be prime minister.”

08:17 AM

James Cartlidge quits as courts minister

James Cartlidge has resigned as courts minister.

He said in his resignation letter to Boris Johnson: "I felt duty bound to remain in post given the very challenging circumstances facing the criminal courts.

"I took the view there had to be some semblance of Government in this crucial arm of our constitution. But the position is clearly untenable."

08:14 AM

Ministerial resignations by prime minister

08:11 AM

Steve Baker predicts vote of confidence by Tuesday

Steve Baker, the former Brexit minister, said he believes another vote of confidence will be held in the PM by Tuesday.

He said: "I understand that the 1922 Committee elections will be brought forward, I will stand to be a member of the Executive.

“I am clear now that with the Government in freefall like this, that is sufficient condition to change the rules and vote again.”

He said the current situation “plainly cannot be allowed endure” and added: "I imagine that we would get the elections done and a vote of confidence held and a result of it by Tuesday at the latest if we get on with it.”

08:07 AM

Chris Philp quits as technology minister

Chris Philp has resigned as minister for technology.

He said in his resignation letter to Boris Johnson that "given events over the past few weeks and months I therefore think that you should resign as Prime Minister and it follows that I cannot serve in your Government any longer."

08:03 AM

Steve Baker: 'The Government is in freefall'

Steve Baker, the former Brexit minister, has said the Government is in "freefall" and he believes Boris Johnson will be forced out of No 10 by Tuesday next week.

Speaking to the BBC, he said: “Clearly this morning the Government is in freefall, this is extremely sad but Boris did this to himself.

“He is now the past, we need to be looking to the future. I think this will come to an end in the next couple of days, probably by Monday, Tuesday.

“It will end and we will move on. It is now time to think about the future.”

07:57 AM

Guy Opperman quits as pensions minister

Guy Opperman has announced he has resigned as pensions minister.

He said in a tweet that he believes the Tories "need leadership change".

He said in his resignation letter to Boris Johnson: "Sadly recent events have shown clearly that Government simply cannot function with you in charge.

"In good faith, and with regret, for the good of the country, I must ask you to stand down."

07:53 AM

George Freeman confirms he has resigned

George Freeman has now confirmed he has resigned from his post as science minister.

It had been unclear when he posted his letter on Twitter earlier today (see the post below at 07.27).

07:43 AM

Lord Frost urges Cabinet ministers to quit

Lord Frost has called on Cabinet ministers to step down to force Boris Johnson out of No 10.

The former Brexit minister said in a Twitter thread that "those who continue to support the PM in his actions will suffer serious damage to their reputations in future".

He said: "I urge Cabinet Ministers, especially those who saw him last night, to dissociate themselves rapidly and step down..."

Lord Frost also said that "when the PM accepts reality" and resigns, he "must step down straightaway" and must not continue in a caretaker role.

He said: "It is also clear now that, when the PM accepts reality, he must step down straightaway. He cannot now credibly be a caretaker Prime Minister while a leadership election is taking place. We have a Deputy PM who can straightforwardly fulfil that role and he should."

07:40 AM

Lord Frost warns PM risks 'destroying his place in history'

Lord Frost, the former Brexit minister, has said Boris Johnson "cannot continue because the business of government cannot continue" and "because it is clear that he is not supported by his Party in Parliament".

The Tory peer said he hoped Mr Johnson "might have reflected overnight and come to realise that".

He said: "If the PM insists on fighting this out then he will cause serious damage to the Party and Government, and destroy his place in history.

"If he insists on waiting until another vote of MPs then the 1922 Exec should meet and facilitate one more quickly than planned."

07:27 AM

George Freeman withdraws confidence from PM

George Freeman, the minister for science, has announced he no longer has confidence in Boris Johnson.

He said in a tweet that "enough is enough" and "this can't go on". However, he did not explicitly say he was quitting as a minister.

In a letter to the PM, he said: "Your leadership, the chaos in No 10, breakdown of Cabinet collective responsibility and collapse of public confidence in government represents a constitutional crisis."

07:18 AM

Damian Hinds quits as Security Minister

Damian Hinds has resigned as Security Minister.

He said in a tweet that "it shouldn’t take the resignation of dozens of colleagues, but for our country, and trust in our democracy, we must have a change of leadership".

In his resignation letter to Boris Johnson, Mr Hinds said that "more important than any government or leader are the standards we uphold in public life and faith in our democracy and public administration".

He said: "Because of the serious erosion in these, I have come to the conclusion that the right thing for our country and for our party is for you to stand down as party leader and Prime Minister.

"I had hoped you would take this course sooner, of your own volition. But as it has become clear that you intend to stay, I cannot continue to serve in your administration."

07:17 AM

Chief Whip arrives at No 10

Chris-Heaton Harris, the Chief Whip and Nigel Adams, the minister without portfolio, have just been seen going into Downing Street.

07:11 AM

PM accused of acting in a 'Trumpian style'

Julian Smith, the former Cabinet minister, has said the refusal to quit by Boris Johnson was creating a “constitutional crisis” as he accused the Prime Minister of acting in a “Trumpian style”.

The former Northern Ireland secretary told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that Mr Johnson was “very concerningly” testing British constitutional conventions.

Asked if Mr Johnson was right to suggest he had a mandate to continue from voters, he said: “It is obviously a preposterous argument. That was not a personal vote. It was a vote for individual candidates across the country."

He added: “He is now at a point where he has obviously looked across the water at what Trump did last year and decided that he wants to have some mini version in the UK. I think that is very dangerous.”

07:05 AM

Helen Whately quits as Treasury minister

Helen Whately has announced she has resigned as Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury.

The MP for Faversham and Mid Kent said in a resignation letter posted on Twitter that she she believed Boris Johnson's "vision for our country and your mission to level-up has inspired and galvanised people".

But she added: “I have argued that you should continue as Prime Minister many times in recent months, but there are only so many times you can apologise and move on. That point has been reached.”

07:02 AM

Brandon Lewis quits as Northern Ireland Secretary

Brandon Lewis has resigned as Northern Ireland Secretary.

He is the fourth Cabinet minister to quit the Cabinet over the last 36 hours.

In a resignation letter posted on Twitter Mr Lewis told Boris Johnson that up until now he had “given you, and those around you, the benefit of the doubt”.

“I have gone out and defended this Government both publicly and privately,” he said.

“We are, however, now past the point of no return. I cannot sacrifice my personal integrity to defend things as they stand now. It is clear that our Party, parliamentary colleagues, volunteers and the whole country, deserve better.”

07:02 AM

Good morning

Good morning and welcome to today's politics live blog.

It promises to be another chaotic day in Westminster and I will guide you through every twist and turn.

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