London politics latest LIVE: Boris Johnson shares tender moment with his family after resigning

·51 min read
London politics latest LIVE: Boris Johnson shares tender moment with his family after resigning

Boris Johnson has shared a sweet embrace with his family after stepping down as Prime Minister.

Inside No10, the Prime Minister was seen cuddling and kissing his wife Carrie as well as their two children - Wilfred and Romy - on Thursday following the announcement.

His wife Carrie held baby Romy as she gave her husband support while he delivered his resignation speech earlier in the day.

Elsewhere, Mr Johnson told his Cabinet on Thursday afternoon the Government will now focus on the agenda on which it was elected and not seek to implement new policies or make major changes of direction following his resignation.

He has said he plans to remain in place until a new prime minister is selected.

But he faces a growing revolt over suggestions he may cling on as a caretaker PM until as late as October.

The decision to step down comes after more than 50 Tory MPs quit the Government in a period of less than 48 hours.

Live blog over - join us again tomorrow

22:15 , Josh Salisbury

Thank you for reading all the latest developments throughout a historic day in British politics.

Join us again tomorrow for coverage for all the news as it happens on the Evening Standard’s website.

Tugendhat confirms leadership bid

21:53 , Josh Salisbury

Tom Tugendhat has now confirmed he is running for Tory leader, saying it is “time for renewal”.

Mr Tugendhat, chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, is the first to announce a bid since the PM gave his resignation earlier today.

Suella Braverman, the Attorney General, has also said she will seek the leadership in an interview given on Wednesday night.

Writing in The Telegraph, Mr Tugendhat said: "I have served before - in the military, and now in Parliament. Now I hope to answer the call once again as prime minister.

"It's time for a clean start. It's time for renewal."

Former Cabinet minister says Johnson should be able to stay on as caretaker

21:49 , Josh Salisbury

Former Cabinet minister Dr Liam Fox has said Boris Johnson should be able to remain in position until his successor is announced.

Asked in Westminster if the Prime Minister should remain until autumn, he said: “Yes, I think the precedent is there, David Cameron stayed until his successor was elected, Theresa May stayed until her successor was elected.

“So the precedent is clear and I think to change that would be a big mistake.”

Asked who he is backing, Dr Fox replied: “Let’s see who the candidates are first.”

Tom Tugendhat confirms considering leadership bid

21:21 , Josh Salisbury

Backbencher Tom Tugendhat has confirmed he is considering standing for the Tory leadership.

Mr Tugendhat, the chairman of the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, told Sky News he has been in discussions with allies to determine whether he has “got the numbers” to mount a challenge.

“I have spoken pretty publicly about the fact that this country needs people who are willing to serve, people who are willing to put themselves forward,” he said.

“That’s what I’m talking to friends about now and we’ll see what friends say. It’s not a secret that I’ve been thinking about this and I’ve been talking to people about the sort of things the country needs.”

Putin’s spokesman says ‘Johnson doesn’t like us and we don’t like him either'

20:59 , Barney Davis

President Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said he hoped “more professional people” who could “make decisions through dialogue” would take over in London.

Meanwhile, Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters Mr Johnson had been “hit by a boomerang launched by himself”, adding that the moral of the story was “do not seek to destroy Russia”.

Jacob Rees-Mogg blast Rishi Sunak as not a ‘successful chancellor'

20:47 , Barney Davis

Minister for Brexit Opportunities Jacob Rees-Mogg hit out at former Chancellor Rishi Sunak whose shock resignation doomed Boris Johnson’s leadership.

He told Channel 4: “I think Rishi Sunak was not a successful chancellor.”

“He was a high tax chancellor and not alert to the inflationary problem.”

Told Sunak is the best chance of beating Sir Keir Starmer he hit back: “That’s mainly to do with name recognition.”

He added Sunak introduced “ill-thought through” tax rises and called for a proposed corporation tax to be scrapped.

Jacob Rees-Mogg (PA Wire)
Jacob Rees-Mogg (PA Wire)

20:11 , Lily Waddell

Shorten the process to replace Boris Johnson, says Tory MP

Conservative MP for North West Leicestershire Andrew Bridgen said he has spoken to Sir Graham Brady and urged him to shorten the process to replace Boris Johnson.

He told the PA news agency: “I have spoken with Sir Graham Brady and urged him to truncate, wherever possible, the leadership election process.

“I think we will have two candidates out of the parliamentary party to present the membership before recess. And that will be no more than three or four weeks.

“So by the end of August we will have a new leader of the Conservative Party. So Boris Johnson’s estimate that he’ll still be Prime Minister in October is wildly inaccurate.”

Mr Bridgen added he was unsure who he was backing to be leader but added it needed to be a Brexiteer and a “proper Conservative from the right of the party”.

Asked if he was running, he said: “I’ve thought about it. I think I could do quite well with the membership but I wouldn’t have the support of the parliamentary party. I probably seem too much of a free thinker.”

Slew of new ministerial appointments announced by No 10

19:51 , Josh Salisbury

A slew of new ministerial appointments to the Government has been announced by No10.

Junior Business Minister Paul Scully has been promoted to become a middle-ranking minister in the Department of Levelling Up, Downing Street said.

Junior Defence Minister James Heappey, Transport Minister Trudy Harrison, Home Office Minister Tom Pursglove, Digital Minister Matt Warman and Health Minister Maria Caulfield are promoted to minister of state within their current departments.

Welsh Secretary says it was ‘duty’ to return to Cabinet for ‘orderly transition of power'

19:27 , Josh Salisbury

Welsh Secretary Sir Robert Buckland said he felt it was "his duty" to return to the Cabinet to make sure we have an “orderly transition of power”.

This isn't about Boris Johnson, this is about the country and about the need for people with some experience to get back round that table and deliver government,” he told the PA news agency.

Sir Robert added he wanted the process to replace Mr Johnson to be “as short as possible".

"Well, I hope it can be as short as possible," he said.

Special relationship will continue, says White House

18:52 , Josh Salisbury

The White House has vowed that the special relationship will continue after Boris Johnson’s resignation in a statement that did not mention him directly by name.

The statement, given to CBS News on behalf of US President Joe Biden, said: “The United Kingdom and the United States are the closest of friends and allies, and the special relationship between our people remains strong and enduring.

“I look forward to continuing our close cooperation with the government of the United Kingdom, as well as our allies and partners around the world, on a range of important priorities.

“That includes maintaining a strong and united approach to supporting the people of Ukraine as they defend themselves against Putin’s brutal war on their democracy, and holding Russia accountable for its actions."

Boris and Carrie Johnson ‘intend to hold Chequers wedding party despite departure’ - reports

18:29 , Josh Salisbury

Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie are reportedly pressing ahead with plans for a wedding party at Chequers despite the Prime Minister resigning as Tory party leader.

The pair married last year.

It was known Mr and Mrs Johnson planned to have a larger celebration in 2022, when coronavirus restrictions were likely to be relaxed.

But according to reports in Bloomberg and the Mirror newspaper, the occasion is still set to go ahead.

Mr and Mrs Johnson were said to have sent save-the-date cards to family and friends for the celebration on July 30.

Chequers is the grace-and-favour residence of the Prime Minister in Buckinghamshire.

Country will regret Boris Johnson resignation ‘like they did with Thatcher’, MP claims

18:05 , Josh Salisbury

Two MPs loyal to Boris Johnson have suggested the public will regret the PM standing down.

Sir Christopher Chope, MP for Christchurch, told reporters in Westminster: “The country will rue this day”.

Meanwhile, Morley and Outwood MP Andrea Jenkyns, added: “They will regret it like they did with Thatcher”.

Ben Wallace ‘discussing whether to launch leadership bid with family’ - report

17:58 , Josh Salisbury

Ben Wallace, the Defence Secretary, is reportedly considering whether to launch a leadership bid but is thinking of the impact on his family, according to a report.

Sky News reported that Mr Wallace, who is a clear favourite among Tory members in recent polls and has three children, is consulting with relatives.

He is also said to be consulting with colleagues and friends. “He is a very committed family man", an ally told the broadcaster, who added the fact he is thinking about the impact on them “says a lot about him".

Environment secretary insists it’s ‘right’ for Boris Johnson to stay as caretaker PM

17:39 , Josh Salisbury

Environment Secretary George Eustice has said Boris Johnson made the "right decision" to step down as Conservative leader but that it was “right” for him to stay in a caretaker capacity.

Mr Eustice said: “That's what Theresa May did. That's what David Cameron did. It's what Tony Blair did. It's what happens in these situations.

“The last thing you want is to chop and change and have somebody else come in as a temporary prime minister for six weeks or two months and then change again.

“That makes no sense at all. You want a degree of continuity, but obviously the approach of this Government is to make sure that key decisions can be made.”

PM tells Cabinet not to make any ‘major changes of direction’

17:21 , Josh Salisbury

Boris Johnson told his Cabinet to focus on the agenda on which it was elected and not make major changes of direction, according to No10 officials.

In a statement, No 10 said: “The Prime Minister opened Cabinet by welcoming those returning or joining for the first time.

“He said his priority would now be to continue delivering on manifesto pledges and making sure the Government is on the side of the public, on the cost of energy, transport and housing and all else that matters to them.

“He made clear the Government would not seek to implement new policies or make major changes of direction, rather it would focus on delivering the agenda on which the Government was elected. He said major fiscal decisions should be left for the next Prime Minister."

Members of Cabinet were said to have paid tribute to Mr Johnson, thanking him for his service.

They highlighted achievements including delivering Brexit, the vaccine rollout, supporting people with the cost of living and his global leadership following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, No 10 said.

Tories could hold at least two ballots a day to quickly replace PM, suggests MP

17:09 , Josh Salisbury

The Conservatives could hold at least two ballots a day to replace the PM more quickly, a senior Tory MP has suggested.

Sir Bob Neill, a long-standing critic of the Prime Minister, suggested that the number of candidates in the leadership contest could be whittled down to two next week to accelerate the process.

“We should look to have this result not by October, I think, we should do it in the summer. Nowadays most people are on email, we can do it quite easily.”

He also said there should be an interim prime minister, name-checking Dominic Raab as a potential candidate.

Sir Bob was also damning of the resignation speech Boris Johnson delivered outside No10, saying there was “not much sense of contrition in there”.

Tory leadership hopeful admits it will be difficult for him to win

16:57 , Josh Salisbury

Steve Baker, the backbench Tory MP who has thrown his hat into the ring for leader of the party, has admitted it will be “very difficult” to win because he lacks Cabinet experience.

Mr Baker told the PA news agency: “ConservativeHome members consistently put me in their top ten for next Prime Minister, they sometimes put me in their top five."

But he said: “I recognise that without Cabinet experience it would be very difficult for me to persuade Members of Parliament to put me in the last two."

He called Mr Johnson’s resignation as leader a “very sad day.”

He said: “I really wanted him to be a roaring success so I'm very sad but equally after everything that has happened, an enormous collapse in the Government over Pincher, it is right that the Prime Minister is going and I now am looking to the future and a leadership contest.”

Cabinet ministers tight-lipped as they leave No10

16:49 , Josh Salisbury

Cabinet ministers have remained tight-lipped after leaving a Cabinet meeting in No10, convened just hours after Boris Johnson announced his resignation as Conservative leader.

Education Secretary James Cleverly ignored media questions about if he would run for leader, while Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi also ignored questions from the press.

The new Northern Ireland Secretary, Shailesh Vara, told reporters: "Good afternoon. I have got work to do and I am going to do it."

Levelling Up Secretary Greg Clark and Welsh Secretary Sir Robert Buckland left Downing Street side-by-side but did not offer a comment.

Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab, Environment Secretary George Eustice and Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries were also straight-faced and silent as they left.

Nadine Dorries leaves Cabinet (Getty Images)
Nadine Dorries leaves Cabinet (Getty Images)

Johnson doesn’t have authority to do ‘new things’, says new Cabinet minister

16:31 , Josh Salisbury

Boris Johnson will no longer have the authority to do “new things” in Government, the newly-appointed Welsh Secretary has said.

Sir Robert Buckland, a former justice secretary who took up the offer of a Cabinet return despite calling for the PM’s resignation just hours before, sought to reassure others in his party pushing for Mr Johnson to leave office as soon as possible.

It comes after former PM, Sir John Major, said it would be “unwise” for Mr Johnson to remain in office while a new Tory leader is elected.

But Sir Robert stressed Mr Johnson will have limited scope to introduce fresh policies in the weeks ahead.

Describing himself as a "team player", he also suggested an interim prime minister is not a feasible idea.

“The system is that you're either Prime Minister or you're not,” he said. “What has happened today is that the office of leader of the Conservative Party has been vacated. And of course, it is for that leader, the leader of the majority party, to become prime minister.

“This Prime Minister no longer has the political authority to do new things."

Ex-minister insists Johnson cannot stay on as PM

16:17 , Josh Salisbury

A former minister has insisted that Boris Johnson should not continue as PM until the next Tory leader is elected.

Former science minister George Freeman, who resigned from the Government on Thursday, said the Government needs a caretaker prime minister who can “stabilise" things, instead.

Mr Freeman added: “I think he's done the right thing in acknowledging that it's up, his authority is gone.

“I think what's difficult really is to see how he's going to be able to put together a government that next week will escape from the insecurity and chaos we've seen this week.

“I just worry that he isn't going to be able to bring the stability that we need. He's got a Chancellor [Nadhim Zahawi] who's already said he doesn't have any confidence in him and two or three other members of the Cabinet.

“The Attorney General [Suella Braverman] is outwardly campaigning for his job. It's just not a credible way to form a government."

Shapps and Javid ‘both considering leadership bids' - report

16:09 , Josh Salisbury

Both Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary, and former health secretary Sajid Javid are reportedly seriously considering running for Tory leader, according to the PA news agency.

Mr Shapps had been a Johnson ally, but urged him on Wednesday to “choose a dignified exit” rather than fight on after an unprecedented series of resignations from government.

Mr Javid, who was the first Cabinet resignation on Tuesday evening, later gave a speech to the Commons pointing to Mr Johnson as the source of the government’s problems.

“I have concluded that the problem starts at the top, that it is not going to change, and that those of us in a position to do so have a responsibility to make a change,” he said.

Lib Dem leader: Boris Johnson ‘worst PM in history'

15:56 , Josh Salisbury

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey has called Boris Johnson “worse than Neville Chamberlain,” saying he will be remembered as “the worst” prime minister “in our history".

Sir Ed told the PA news agency: “He is far worse than Chamberlain, Chamberlain didn't break the law, whatever he did, and I'm no Chamberlain fan.

“This Prime Minister will, I think, be remembered for the first prime minister in British history to lie on an industrial scale and to care more about himself than he did the British people."

He also said Conservative MPs had “failed to do their patriotic duty" by not getting rid of him sooner.

Tory minister says there is ‘a lot of talent’ in the party

15:35 , Daniel Keane

Business minister Paul Scully has said there is a "lot of talent" in the Conservative Party and it now needs to find a new leader "to rally around and move on".

Mr Scully told the PA news agency: "It has been hugely frustrating that we have got to this point but the Prime Minister has made absolutely the right decision, it is time we found a new prime minister to rally around and move on.

"What we are now doing is starting that competition, the leadership contest, but we will in the meantime continue on the important matters of the day."

On whether he would run to succeed Boris Johnson as Conservative Party leader, he said: "In no way, shape or form will I be anywhere near that, always flattering to be asked but not a chance."

On who he would like to lead the Tories, Mr Scully said: "I don't have an individual name, there is plenty of people going to be coming forward with a lot of talent, but I'm going to be looking for someone that's going to continue to deliver for the UK."

Watch: Kremlin Reacts as UK PM Boris Johnson Agrees to Step Down

15:26 , Daniel Keane

PM speaks to Zelensky to reaffirm UK’s support

15:03 , Daniel Keane

Boris Johnson spoke to Ukraine's president Volodymyr Zelensky "to reiterate the United Kingdom's steadfast support" as he quit as Tory leader.

"The Prime Minister highlighted the UK's unwavering cross-party support for President Zelensky's people, and said the UK would continue to supply vital defensive aid for as long as needed," a Downing Street spokeswoman said.

"The Prime Minister added that he would continue to work at pace with partners to try and end the grain blockade in the coming weeks.

"He thanked President Zelensky for everything he's doing to stick up for freedom, for his friendship and for the kindness of the Ukrainian people.

"President Zelensky thanked the Prime Minister for his decisive action on Ukraine, and said the Ukrainian people were grateful for the UK's efforts.

"The Prime Minister finished the call by praising President Zelensky, saying: 'You're a hero, everybody loves you'.”

Raab will not stand to become PM

14:53 , Daniel Keane

Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab will not stand to become Prime Minister, according to Sky News.

But Transport secretary Grant Shapps is expected to run, the broadcaster reported.

Northern Ireland minister says it is ‘huge privilege’ to take on role

14:48 , Daniel Keane

The new Northern Ireland Secretary has said it is a "huge privilege" to take up the role.

Shailesh Vara replaces Brandon Lewis, who resigned early on Thursday.

He tweeted: "A huge privilege to return to the Northern Ireland Office as Secretary of State.

"Having served previously in the Department I recognise the immense contribution of Northern Ireland, and its people, to the UK and I look forward to representing those interests at the Cabinet table."

It would be ‘unwise’ for PM to remain in office, says Major

14:35 , Daniel Keane

Former prime minister Sir John Major said it would be "unwise and may be unsustainable" for Boris Johnson to remain in office while a new Tory leader is elected.

In a letter to Tory 1922 Committee chairman Sir Graham Brady, Sir John said: "The proposal for the Prime Minister to remain in office - for up to three months - having lost the support of his Cabinet, his Government and his parliamentary party is unwise, and may be unsustainable.

"In such a circumstance the Prime Minister maintains the power of patronage and, of even greater concern, the power to make decisions which will affect the lives of those within all four nations of the United Kingdom and further afield.

"Some will argue that his new Cabinet will restrain him. I merely note that his previous Cabinet did not - or could not - do so."

Watch: Carrie Johnson supports Boris resignation with baby Romy

14:33 , Daniel Keane

Poll puts Sunak ahead of Starmer

14:21 , Daniel Keane

A new poll has put Rishi Sunak ahead of Sir Keir Starmer in a possible election battle.

The poll, commissioned by JL Partners, put the former Chancellor a point ahead of the Labour leader were they to face of in a General Election.

Sir Keir is 13 points ahead of Nadhim Zahawi and Jeremy Hunt, 12 points ahead of Liz Truss and 15 points ahead of Penny Mordaunt.

Buckland refuses to rule out leadership challenge

14:11 , Daniel Keane

The new Secretary of State for Wales has declined to rule out running to replace Boris Johnson as Tory leader.

Robert Buckland said: "What I'm focusing on is values. I talk a lot about One Nation politics. I've always been a one nation Conservative, moderate Conservative."

Pressed on whether he had leadership ambitions, he said: "I will support a One Nation candidate. I woke up this morning not expecting to be a Cabinet minister, so I've learnt to expect the unexpected in politics."

Tory MP Damian Green back Tom Tugendhat to replace Boris Johnson

13:57 , Bill Mcloughlin

Mr Green, an old ally of former Prime Minister Theresa May, told Sky News that he would be backing the chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee in any leadership contest.

“I think we need a fresh start. And, in particular, we need to restore trust in government, not just in this Government or a Conservative government, but in the way we do government more widely. I think having somebody who’s not in the Cabinet. I think that’s an advantage.”

Asked if Mr Tugendhat was definitely running, he said: “I hope so, otherwise I wouldn’t be saying this. So, yes, I think you can, you can take it that Tom is going to run.”

Tory MP Damian Green has given the clearest indication yet that Tom Tugendhat will run to replace Boris Johnson as leader of the Conservative Party.

Keir Starmer takes in Wimbledon as PM resigns

13:50 , Bill Mcloughlin

Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer has journeyed to Wimbledon to take in the day’s events with his wife, Victoria.

Keir Starmer (AP)
Keir Starmer (AP)
Keir Starmer and wife Victoria Starmer in the Royal Box on centre court (REUTERS)
Keir Starmer and wife Victoria Starmer in the Royal Box on centre court (REUTERS)

Theresa May: We must deal with cost of living crisis

13:41 , Bill Mcloughlin

Speaking at an event for the Institute of Government, the former Prime Minister identified the cost of living crisis, as the important issues for the Government to deal with.

She said: “There are some difficult messages for people there.

“I think it’s important that somebody comes in who is willing to be honest with people about what the issues are and what the potential solutions are, and how we might get to there and the difficulties there will be on the way.

“The key task of somebody coming in as Prime Minister is going to be dealing with the current situation with the cost-of-living crisis.”

Michel Barnier welcomes a ‘new page’ in UK-EU relations

13:20 , Bill Mcloughlin

Following Boris Johnson’s resignation, the former EU negotiator claimed a new relationship can now begin between the UK and EU.

He said: “The departure of Boris Johnson opens a new page in relations with the UK.

“May it be more constructive, more respectful of commitments made, in particular regarding peace & stability in NI, and more friendly with partners in the EU.”

Former Johnson ally says speech was ‘painful to watch'

13:06 , Daniel Keane

Former Boris Johnson loyalist Jonathan Gullis said the Prime Minister's resignation speech was "painful to watch, but it's the right thing that he's gone".

Jonathan Gullis, who quit as parliamentary private secretary at the Northern Ireland Office, told Sky News that he "had not regretted" deciding to withdraw his support for Mr Johnson, even as he watched his resignation speech.

The Stoke-on-Trent North MP praised Mr Johnson's achievements but said: "He could have been, and should have been, a great Prime Minister, but sadly too many poor choices over too long a time.

"My personal preference would have been, because of especially the last 24 hours and the scenes we've seen since then, that Boris would have gone entirely and we would have installed Dominic Raab as an interim prime minister, then with the interim Cabinet, until we had a new leader."

Ukrainian politician thanks PM

13:00 , Daniel Keane

Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to the Office of President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, tweeted: "To be a leader - to call Russian evil an evil and to take responsibility in the hardest times. To be a leader - to be the first to arrive in Kyiv, despite missile attacks.

"Thanks Boris Johnson for realising the threat of Russian monster and always being at the forefront of supporting Ukraine."

In a video posted with the tweet, he spoke to the camera and added: "Today we have everything we need for the effective defence of the country: weapons, partnership and coalition, and thanks to Mr Johnson, we understand that victory is a real symbol of the future in Ukraine ... we are extremely grateful to our partners, Mr Johnson, for the opportunity to do our work effectively."

Tory MPs criticise speech

12:51 , Daniel Keane

Tory MPs have weighed in on Boris Johnson’s speech.

James Daly, Conservative Bury North MP, said: “This is nothing to do with herd instinct... it’s a lot of very good people who’ve decided what’s in the best interests of the country.”

Mixed reaction to PM’s resignation speech

12:48 , Daniel Keane

Boris Johnson’s resignation speech has provoked a mixed reaction.

Dominic Cummings, his former most senior adviser, accused of him “blaming everyone else” and said he “thinks he’s the real victim”.

“We’re all in for a nightmare if he’s allowed to squat,” he added.

And another senior Government source told The Sun’s Noa Hoffman the speech was “a f****** disgrace”.

 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

Liz Truss: PM has made the right decision

12:45 , Daniel Keane

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has reacted to the Prime Minister’s resignation.

She wrote: “ The PM has made the right decision. The Government under Boris’s leadership had many achievements - delivering Brexit, vaccines and backing Ukraine.

“We need calmness and unity now and to keep governing while a new leader is found.”

Carrie waves with daughter Romy

12:41 , Daniel Keane

 (Sky News)
(Sky News)

Pictured: Boris Johnson makes resignation statement

12:39 , Daniel Keane

British PM Johnson speaks at Downing Street (REUTERS)
British PM Johnson speaks at Downing Street (REUTERS)

PM: Public’s interests will be served until I step down

12:37 , Daniel Keane

Mr Johnson thanked Tory member and campaigners as well as Chequers and No10 staff.

“Above all, I want to thank the British public for the privilege have given me,” he said.

“I want you to know from now on until a new PM is in place, your interests will be served and the Government of the country will be carried on.”

He adds: “Even if things can seem dark now our future is gold”.

Our ‘Darwinian system’ will produce new leader, PM says

12:35 , Daniel Keane

The PM said it was “painful” not to be able to see through policies he created.

“But when the herd moves it moves,” he says.

“Our brilliant and Darwinian system will produce another leader.”

Mr Johnson says there will be “many people who will be relieved” and that he’s “sad to be giving up the best job in the world”.

He thanks his wife Carrie Johnson for her support.

PM confirms resignation

12:33 , Daniel Keane

Boris Johnson has confirmed his resignation.

He says: “It is clearly now the will of the party that there shuld be a new leader.

“The process of choosing a new leader should begin now. The timtable will be announced next week.

“I have appointed a Cabient to serve until a new leader in place

“I want to say to the millions of people who voted for us in 2019: thank you for that incredible mandate, the biggest Tory majority since 1987 .

He said that continuing in the role was “his duty and obligation”.

Elsewhere, Mr Johnson said he was proud of the Government’s achievements in getting Brexit done and “reclaiming the countries power to make its own laws”.

He also praised his Cabinet’s action in enacting the “fastest exit from lockdown” as well as “standing up to Putin’s aggression”.

Supportive MPs and officials gather in the street

12:29 , Daniel Keane

Supportive MPs and officials have gathered in the street as Boris Johnson prepares to make his resignation statement.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Lectern brought outside No10

12:23 , Daniel Keane

A lectern has been brought out outside No10 Downing Street.

Boris Johnson will be speaking imminently.

Andrew Stephenson has been appointed Minister without Portfolio

12:18 , Daniel Keane

Andrew Stephenson has been appointed Minister without Portfolio, and will attend Cabinet, No 10 said.

Shailesh Vara appointed Secretary of State for Northern Ireland

12:12 , Daniel Keane

Shailesh Vara MP has been appointed Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Downing Street has confirmed.

Buckland appointed as Wales Secretary

12:04 , Daniel Keane

Downing Street has appointed Robert Buckland as Welsh Secretary.

PM ‘to make statement in half an hour'

11:58 , Daniel Keane

Boris Johnson is set to make his resignation statement outside No10 Downing Street at 12.30pm, according to Sky’s Beth Rigby.

We’ll have the latest here.

Johnson ends his premiership less popular than Corbyn - poll

11:53 , Daniel Keane

Boris Johnson will end his premiership with a lower popularity rating than Jeremy Corbyn, according toa new poll.

The Opinium poll found that 62 per cent of Britons found the PM “unfavourable”, compared to 56 per cent for the former Labour leader.

Just over a fifth (22 per cent) found the PM “favourable”.

Meanwhile, just over a third (34 per cent) found Sir Keir Starmer favourable - with a slightly larger number (35 per cent) finding him unfavourable.

Cleverly confirmed as new Education Secretary

11:50 , Daniel Keane

Britain has a new education secretary - for the second time in two days.

James Cleverly, formerly a Foreign Office minister, will take on the role, Downing Street has confirmed.

It comes just hours after Michelle Donelan resigned from the Cabinet - a day after she was appointed to the role.

Departing minister says he would return to Government if required

11:48 , Daniel Keane

Former technologies minister Chris Philp has indicated he would return to Government if required, now that Boris Johnson is set to resign as Conservative Party leader.

Mr Philp, who resigned only hours ago, told Sky News he would not refuse to help out the Government if it needed to pass legislation through the Commons, but he was not looking for his job back.

He said: "I think all of us in public life are here to serve the country and if I was able to do that in whatever capacity, then obviously I'd be happy to serve.

"If I was asked to help out with getting the Online Safety Bill through Parliament, okay, I would be willing to help out in whatever way I could, in any capacity, whoever the leader was.

"I'm not asking for that (his old post). I'm not expecting it. I resigned and when you resign, you resign."

He also said that he had not given any thought to the best candidate to replace Mr Johnson.

Malthouse appointed as Cabinet Office minister

11:41 , Daniel Keane

Elsewhere, the Prime Minister is continuing to make ministerial appointments.

Downing Street has appointed Kit Malthouse as Chancellor for the Duchy of Lancaster, the most senior minister in the Cabinet Office after the Prime Minister.

Labour to bring a vote of no confidence if PM doesn’t step down immediately

11:38 , Daniel Keane

Labour will bring a vote of no confidence if Boris Johnson does not step down immediately, Sir Keir Starmer has said.

“We can’t go on with this broken Government,” he said.

Greg Clark becomes levelling up secretary

11:26 , Daniel Keane

Former business minister Greg Clark has been appointed levelling up secretary.

He replaces Michael Gove, who was dramatically sacked last night by the PM.

PM to make ministerial appointments imminently

11:15 , Daniel Keane

The Prime Minister will shortly be making new appointments to his ministerial team, Downing Street sources have told our reporter Rachael Burford.

Ben Wallace tops leadership poll

11:11 , Daniel Keane

Defence secretary Ben Wallace has topped a new leadership poll, with 48 per cent of Tory members wanting him to take the reins ofthe party.

According to a YouGov poll, he holds a substantial lead against Liz Truss, Penny Mordaunt and Rishi Sunak.

Vacancy sign on Downing Street at Madame Tussauds

11:07 , Daniel Keane

A vacancy sign has been installed at Number 10 Downing Street at Madame Tussauds.

The London landmark is preparing for the PM’s resignation later this afternoon.

 (J Hordle / INhouse images)
(J Hordle / INhouse images)

Baker ‘seriously thinking’ about No10

10:54 , Daniel Keane

Arch-Brexiteer Steve Baker said he is "seriously" thinking about throwing his hat in the ring for the top job.

He told BBC News: "People will know that in the last seven of the 12 years I've been in Parliament I have provided leadership and organisation through really massive crises, whether it's been Brexit or Covid, race relations, net zero.

"So, of course, I've taken a lot of calls and meetings with potential leaders. Now I'm seriously thinking whether I should do it because, you know, I got into politics because I thought I wanted an MP I always agreed with, well maybe I'd like a prime minister that could be counted on to do what I thought best.

"So, I know what I'm looking for - fierce resolve, humility, integrity, a willingness to do what's actually right for the long and short-term of this country.

"So, of course, I'm seriously considering standing because Conservative Home members consistently put me in their top 10, so I should respect them and take that seriously."

‘Evict him today’, says Dominic Cummings

10:49 , Daniel Keane

Boris Johnson's former advisor Dominic Cummings wrote on Twitter: "Evict TODAY or he'll cause CARNAGE, even now he's playing for time & will try to stay

"No 'dignity', no 'interim while leadership contest'.

"Raab shd be interim PM by evening."

Tory MP says there will be pressure on PM to resign

10:44 , Daniel Keane

Tory peer and pollster Lord Hayward said that he thinks there may be pressure for Boris Johnson to stand aside and for Dominic Raab to become acting prime minister.

He also said there will likely be "up to 10 people" openly considering putting themselves forward to be Conservative leader.

Lord Hayward told BBC News: "There is a possibility, I would have thought, that because many of the ministers have resigned over integrity and decency issues, that there might be pressure for Boris Johnson to stand aside and Dominic Raab act as Deputy Prime Minister, acting prime minister pro tem."

He said there will be "a lot of candidates from all sorts of sides of the Tory party" in the leadership election.

"Some leadership elections it's quite clear it's down to one, two, three people, on this occasion I think we'll probably see up to 10 people openly considering whether they might be a candidate.

"I would be surprised if the declared candidacies are less than five or six."

Rayner: We don’t have a functioning Government

10:41 , Daniel Keane

Ms Rayner responds: “I hate to break it to the minister but we don’t have a functioning Government.

“It’s good news that the PM will resign - he was always unfit for office... but the chaos of the last three days is more than petty infighting.

“These actions have consequences for our country in the midst of a cost of living crisis.

“Britain has no functioning Government. No minister in place to pass legislation, bill committees cancelled with no minister to run them.”

We will ensure country has a functioning Government, says Tory minister

10:39 , Daniel Keane

Deputy PM Angela Rayner is speaking in the Commons after being granted an urgent question.

She asks for an urgent statement from Cabinet Office minister Michael Ellis on the functioning of Government.

Mr Ellis says: “As the House will be aware, it is widely reported that the Prime Minister is about to make an important statement shortly.

“I can confirm that the PM will speak shortly. I cannot pre-empt his statement and the House and the nation will hear more imminently.

“In the meantime, the business of Government continues supported by our excellent civil servants.”

He adds: “We must continue to serve our coutnry adn the general public first and foremost. It is our duty to ensure the people of this coutry have a functioning Government.”

Liz Truss flies home from G20

10:36 , Daniel Keane

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss will cut short her trip to Indonesia where she was set to attend the G20 meeting.

She will be making a statement shortly.

Blackford welcomes PM’s resignation but says it ‘changes little’ for Scotland

10:34 , Daniel Keane

The SNP’s Westminster leader Ian Blackford has welcomed Boris Johnson’s resignation but said it will “change little” for Scotland.

He tweeted: “Boris Johnson’s resignation is welcome but for Scotland it changes very little – we are still controlled by a broken Westminster system that saw fit to make him Prime Minister in the first place.

“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.

“And with all the Westminster parties fully signed up to a hard Brexit, it is clear a change of government alone cannot provide the real change that Scotland needs.

“Whoever takes over from Boris Johnson must respect the democratic mandate the Scottish Government has to hold an independence referendum - so we can escape Westminster control for good.”

Tory MP urges colleagues to be cautious about replacing Johnson quickly

10:26 , Daniel Keane

Veteran Tory MP David Davis has urged fellow MPs and former Government ministers to be cautious about seeking to quickly replace Boris Johnson as Prime Minister or to try block him from performing a caretaker role until a new Conservative leader is chosen.

The former Cabinet minister told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "My concern is not for Boris or even Boris' views.

"My concern is to pick the most straightforward way through this change we have to do and every way we pick has got problems, but the one of waiting until you have got a new leader provides the least problems."

Kwarteng slams ‘depressing state of affairs’

10:17 , Daniel Keane

Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has labelled the last 72 hours “a depressing state of affairs” and called on the PM to step down immediately.

“ So much needless damage caused. We now need a new Leader as soon as practicable. Someone who can rebuild trust, heal the country, and set out a new, sensible and consistent economic approach to help families.

“I’m on Teesside today launching a £400m investment - a new offshore wind factory that will employ hundreds of local people.

“Westminster is a mess, but this investment - and those jobs - will outlast any PM. The wheels of Government must continue in the meantime.”

Departed Tory vice chair agrees that PM

10:14 , Daniel Keane

Ex-Tory vice chairman Bim Afolami, who resigned yesterday, has given his backing to the installation of a temporary Prime Minister.

He retweeted a post by Tory MP George Freeman calling on the PM to “hand in the seals of office, apologise to Her Majesty & advise her to call for a Caretaker Prime Minister”.

Lammy: ‘Good riddance to amoral, incompetent PM'

10:09 , Daniel Keane

Shadow foreign secretary David Lammy has bid “good riddance to the most dishonest, incompetent and amoral Prime Minister in modern British history”.

He tweeted: “ He should never have been allowed to dishonour Number 10. Now it’s time to boot his Party of acolytes and sycophants out of power and give Britain a fresh start.”

PM ‘must resign his office’, says Tory MP

10:04 , Daniel Keane

Conservative MP for Bognor Regis and Littlehampton Nick Gibb 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."

FCO parliamentary aide resigns

10:03 , Daniel Keane

Rob Butler has resigned as a parliamentary private secretary to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office after concluding he "can no longer reconcile loyalty" to Boris Johnson.

"I agree entirely with you that we need to focus relentlessly on the most important challenges facing us - the cost of living, post-Covid recovery for the NHS and the war in Ukraine," the MP for Aylesbury wrote in a letter to the Prime Minister, before it was announced Boris Johnson had agreed to step down.

"It has become clear, however, that this is no longer possible with the distraction caused by questions over your personal leadership. In particular, details of the circumstances that have emerged in recent days about the appointment, behaviour and departure of the previous deputy chief whip are profoundly disturbing, and sadly show me that the necessary lessons have not, after all, been learnt in Downing Street.

"Loyalty is rightly highly regarded in politics; we succeed as a team. But I can no longer reconcile loyalty to you as Prime Minister with the integrity I have always endeavoured to demonstrate, whether at work, in voluntary roles or in my personal life.

"That is why, with regret, I must now step down as a PPS."

No comment from Buckingham Palace on PM’s resignation

09:58 , Daniel Keane

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

Davis ‘not bothered’ if PM stays in post

09:54 , Daniel Keane

Tory MP and former minister David Davis has indicated that he would support Mr Johnson staying in place while a new leader is selected.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I’m not too bothered about Boris staying in place until we’ve got a new leadership.

“We trigger a whole new set of problems if we try and have a stand in…this is going to take a month or two.”

Questions over whether departing ministers will serve under Johnson

09:52 , Daniel Keane

With the Prime Minister’s exit all but confirmed, the focus is turning to whether he should remain as a caretaker until a new leader is installed.

Gavin Barwell, former chief of staff in No10, questioned whether ministers who departed in the past two days will return to their posts.

He tweeted: “Good the PM has recognised reality. Important that the leadership election is relatively quick (lack of a party chairman a problem in agreeing timetable).

“Question whether the PM will be able to lead a caretaker government in the meantime - will enough ministers agree to serve?”

Tories ‘have done profound damage’ in Government, says Starmer

09:45 , Daniel Keane

Sir Keir continued: “They have been in power for 12 years. The damage they have done is profound.

“Twelve years of economic stagnation. Twelve years of declining public services. Twelve years of empty promises.

“Enough is enough. We don’t need to change the Tory at the top - we need a proper change of government.

“We need a fresh start for Britain.”

Starmer: This is good news for the country

09:43 , Daniel Keane

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said: "It is good news for the country that Boris Johnson has resigned as Prime Minister.

"But it should have happened long ago.

"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.”

As PM resigns... Dorries takes questions in Parliament

09:38 , Daniel Keane

It’s business as usual in the House of Commons as Johnson ally Nadine Dorries takes questions from MPs as part of DCMS questions.

She talks about the “excellent progress” made on broadband - in scenes that seem a world away from the chaos at No10.

Pound trading higher on PM’s resignation

09:32 , Daniel Keane

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.

Minister urges PM to give way to caretaker leader

09:30 , Daniel Keane

George Freeman, who announced he was resigning as science minister on Thursday morning, said Boris Johnson must apologise to the Queen and advise her to call for a caretaker prime minister.

He tweeted: "Boris Johnson needs to hand in the seals of office, apologise to Her Majesty and advise her to call for a caretaker prime minister.

"To take over today so that ministers can get back to work and we can choose a new Conservative leader to try and repair the damage and rebuild trust."

Timeline still unclear on Johnson’s replacement

09:24 , Daniel Keane

Though sources have said that Mr Johnson intends to stay through the summer during a forthcoming leadership race, the timeline remains unclear.

The Times’ Steven Swinford has been told the timetable is not in the PM’s hands, saying it is a matter for the new 1922 executive.

His departure could be subject “to negotiation”, Mr Swinford reports.

PM ‘to make a statement to the country'

09:21 , Daniel Keane

A No10 spokesperson has confirmed the news of Mr Johnson’s resignation.

“The Prime Minister will make a statement to the country today,” they said.

 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

PM tied with Neville Chamberlain

09:20 , Daniel Keane

Boris Johnson is tied with Neville Chamberlain on the number of days he has spent in Downing Street.

He has served for longer than former Labour PM Gordon Brown, but not qiute as long as Theresa May.

Should he quit this afternoon, Mr Johnson will have served a total of 2 years and 348 days.

PM agreed to stand down after speaking to Sir Graham Brady

09:14 , Daniel Keane

Boris Johnson has spoken to Tory 1922 Committee chairman Sir Graham Brady and agreed to stand down.

A new Tory leader set to be in place by the party conference in October, a No 10 source said.

Wallace: Some ministers need to stay in post ‘to keep country safe'

09:08 , Daniel Keane

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace stressed some Cabinet ministers needed to stay in office to “keep this country safe” but that there was a “mechanism” for the Tory party to change its leader, and hence the Prime Minister, writes Nicholas Cecil.

He tweeted: “A number of us have an obligation to keep this country safe, no matter who is PM.

“The Party has a mechanism to change leaders and that is the mechanism which I advise colleagues to use. In the meantime, the public would not forgive us if we left these Offices of State empty.”

He added: “A number National Security Ministers are directly involved in authorising, on a daily basis, operations to defend the UK & its citizens.

“These authorisations range from warrants, live operations and wider deployments as well as responses to, Terrorist,Cyber and other of attacks.”

PM ‘expected to resign today'

09:07 , Daniel Keane

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to resign later today, according to reports.

A source told the Daily Mirror’s Pippa Crerar that a resignation statement has been prepared for the PM.

Sky’s Beth Rigby has also been briefed that Mr Johnson will resign.

No Commons ministers left in the Department for Education

09:03 , Daniel Keane

Ms Donelan’s resignation means there no serving Commons ministers left in the DfE.

It comes just weeks before a busy exam season.

Donelan says PM ‘has put us in an impossible situation'

09:00 , Daniel Keane

In her resignation letter, Ms Donelan said she “pleaded” with the PM to “do the right thing and resign for the sake of our country and our party”.

“I see no way that you can continue in post,” she said. “Without a formal mechanism to remove you it seems that the only way that this is only possible for those of us to force your hand.”

“You have put us in an impossible situaiton. I am deeply saddened that it has come to this, but as someone who values integrity above all else, I have no choice.”

Education minister resigns

08:54 , Daniel Keane

Education minister Michelle Donelan has sensationally resigned from Government just a day after being appointed.

PM’s own Chancellor calls on him to quit

08:48 , Daniel Keane

Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi has called on the PM to quit - just a day after he was appointed to the role by Boris Johnson.

He tweeted: “Prime Minister: this is not sustainable and it will only get worse: for you, for the Conservative Party and most importantly of all the country.

“You must do the right thing and go now.”

Former Chancellor calls on PM to ‘resign with some dignity'

08:45 , Daniel Keane

Former Chancellor George Osborne has called on the Prime Minister to resign in the “next 8 hours” to preserve his “dignity”.

He tweeted: “People will say is too late, but I think Boris Johnson still has about 8 hours left when he can resign with some dignity, give a ‘sorrow not anger’ speech, preserve the constitutional norms, preside over the interregnum and start to rebuild his reputation.”

Braverman defends previous allegiance to PM

08:38 , Daniel Keane

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.

UK ‘technically’ has a functioning Government

08:27 , Daniel Keane

The UK “technically” has a functioning Government, Attorney-General Suella Braverman has said.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, she said the PM must resign in a way which “safeguards his legacy”.

Tory MP signals intention to run for 1922 Executive

08:20 , Daniel Keane

Tory MP William Wragg, a longtime opponent of the PM, has signalled his intention to run to be vice-chair of the 1922 Committee.

His election to the post would likely mean the group’s rules are changed to allow a second confidence vote in Boris Johnson.

He tweeted: “I am standing again to be a vice-chair of the 1922 Executive and hope colleagues will support me to continue in the role.

“The situation needs a new confidence vote in the PM, which can come by Tuesday next week. In the meantime he could do the right thing and resign.”

And another! Courts minister James Cartlidge resigns

08:14 , Daniel Keane

James Cartlidge has resigned as courts minister.

“I have felt duty bound to remain in post because of the very challenging situation in the Crown Court. But it’s clearly impossible to continue,” he said.

Tech minister resigns

08:08 , Daniel Keane

Chris Philp, minister for tech and the digital economy, has resigned.

He said: “I’m deeply saddened it has come to this, but the PM should step down given public and Parliamentary confidence has clearly gone, and given the importance of integrity in public life.”

Steve Baker hints he could stand for party leader

08:03 , Daniel Keane

Steve Baker, the pro-Brexit leader of Tory backbench rebels, has indicated he may stand in any future Tory leadership election contest, writes David Bond.

“Well I have to think about it very seriously,” he just told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme.

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

“The Conservative home poll keeps putting me in the top 10…it would be wrong of me to take it lightly.

“But I am realistic that it’s 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.

MP refuses to be promoted to Cabinet

07:56 , Daniel Keane

Monmouth MP David TC Davies became the first promotion “refusnik” as he turned down taking over from a Cabinet minister who resigned, writes Nic Cecil.

He rejected stepping into the shoes of Welsh Secretary Simon Hart who quit on Wednesday night.

Welsh minister Mr Davies tweeted: “@Simonhartmp It has been a privilege to work for Simon who did a great job as Sec of State for Wales.

“We should not be in the position of losing decent and hard working Ministers. I made clear last night that I will not take the role.”

Work and pensions minister steps down

07:54 , Daniel Keane

Guy Opperman, a minister at the Department for Work and Pensions, has resigned.

He wrote: “ It has been a honour, and a great responsibility, to serve as a minister, but we need leadership change, and I have resigned.

“I will continue to work for my constituents in Hexham from the backbenches.”

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