Now Michael Gove begs Boris Johnson to quit as 32 MPs resign in bloodbath | The Sun
BORIS Johnson is today battling to survive a bloodbath of resignations that has so far seen 32 Tories abandon his government.
Michael Gove is said to have begged the PM to chuck in the towel as the chorus of Conservative calls for him to quit reached a crescendo.
Five Ministers all quit on masse shortly after 2.30pm as the torrent of resignations got quicker in 24 hours of hell for the PM.
A slew of backbench Tory MPs have also said Mr Johnson so should stand down.
In a fiery PMQs the PM insisted he was staying and would even soldier on to win the next election.
He roared: "The job of a prime minister in difficult circumstances when he's been handed a colossal mandate is to keep going – and that's what I'm going to do."
In a surreal Liaison committee session this afternoon Mr Johnson pretended it was business as usual – and said "of course" he'll be PM tomorrow.
But outside the room Tory plotters were sharpening their knives to change the 1922 committee rules at a meeting tonight.
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Mr Johnson is desperately clinging on after Mr Sunak and Sajid Javid spectacularly wielded the knife last night with devastating Cabinet resignations.
Levelling Up boss Mr Gove has not resigned but has reportedly told the PM the game was up.
In key developments:
- The PM faced a 3.30pm grilling at the Liaison Committee
- Tory plotters are attempting to change the leadership rules at a meeting tonight
- Nadhim Zahawi dangled the prospect of tax cuts to win round Tory MPs
- More Tory MPs submitted letters of no confidence including Red Wall stalwart Lee Anderson
Mr Johnson is hanging by a thread after five ministers quit today and a flood of Tory MPs called for him to go now.
Ex-Health Secretary Mr Javid attempted to deliver the fatal blow with a blistering resignation speech in the packed Commons.
The big beast said: "At some point we have to conclude that enough is enough. I believe that point is now.
"The reset button can only work so many times. There's only so many times you can turn that machine on and off before you realise something is fundamentally wrong."
ALL THE RESIGNATIONS TO ROCK BORIS
ALL the resignations to rock Boris Johnson.
Oliver Dowden was the first big name in cabinet to resign. He stepped down on June 24 off the back of two embarrassing by-election defeats for the Tories.
Sajid Javid – Heavyweight Sajid Javid kicked off the gropegate coup at 6.02pm on Tuesday night. In a letter Mr Javid praised the PM for crushing Corbynism and fighting Covid, but said the public can no longer trust him to act in their best interest.
Rishi Sunak – Leadership contender Rishi Sunak followed Mr Javid just nine minutes later. In a letter he slammed the PM for not being competent or serious.
Andrew Murrison – Former trade envoy to Morocco Andrew Murrison stood down at 7pm.
Bim Afolami –Tory Party Vice Chair Bim Afolami resigned at 7.28pm.
Jonathan Gullis –Norther Ireland PPS and former ultra-loyalist to the PM Jonathan Gullis resigned at 7.48pm.
Saqib Bhatti – PPS to Mr Javid Saqib Bhatti followed his boss out the door at 7.51pm.
Nicola Richards – Transport PPS Nicola Richards resigned at 8.27pm.
Virginia Crosbie – Wales PPS Virginia Crosby said bye bye to BoJo at 8.55pm.
Theo Clarke – The trade envoy to Kenya resigned at 8.01pm.
Alex Chalk – Solicitor General and long-time waverer Alex Chalk stepped down at 10.51pm. He was the last of Tuesday night’s tidal wave of resignations.
Laura Trott – Tory rising star and Transport PPS Laura Trott kicked off today’s resignation marathon at 8.07am.
Will Quince – Children’s minister Will Quince followed Ms Trott with a letter sent off at 8.25am.
Robin Walker – Education minister Robin Walker quit government at 9.43am.
Felicity Buchan – Business PPS Felicity Buchan resigned at 11.05am.
John Glen – Treasury Minister John Glen resigned at 11.06am.
Vicky Atkins – Home Office Minister Victoria Atkins posted her resignation letter at 11.32am.
Jo Churchill – Environment Minister resigned just after noon.
Stewart Andrew – resigned as a Housing Minister.
Claire Coutinho – Resigned as a ministerial aide at the Treasury
Selaine Saxby – Resigned as a ministerial aide at the Treasury
David Johnston – Quit as a parliamentary private secretary to the Education Department.
Mims Davies – Quit as employment minister at 2.26pm.
Neil O'Brien, Alex Burghart, Kemi Badenoch, Lee Rowley and Julia Lopez – All ministers walked out at 2.30 in a coordinated letter with four other colleagues.
Craig Williams – Treasury PPS Craig Williams resigned at just before 3.30pm
Mark Logan – Quit as a parliamentary private secretary at 3.35.
Rachel Maclean – Quit as safeguarding minister at 3.45.
Mike Freer – Chucked in the towel as Equalities Minister at 4pm.
He added: "The problem starts at the top, it's not going to change."
More Conservative rebels stuck the knife in during PMQs and asked if there was anything that would make him resign.
Mr Johnson tried to turn the tables onto Sir Keir Starmer, accusing him of scheming to "overturn the will of the British people and take us back into Europe".
The Labour leader shot back: "What a pathetic spectacle that the dying act of his political career is to parrot that nonsense."
And rubbing salt in the wounds of all the resignations, he added: "Isn't this the first recorded case of the sinking ships fleeing the rats."
The PM was met with loud boos and shouts of “shame” from the Labour benches as he walked in.
On his own side Tory MPs were awkward and quiet despite whips trying to rally them to cheer.
The only clapping from government back benches came when Red Wall MP Gary Sambrook begged the PM to "take responsibility and resign".
The floodgates of mutiny opened this morning as Will Quince and Robin Walker left their jobs as education ministers while Treasury minister John Glen followed Rishi Sunak out the door.
Desperate to stem the tide of rebellion after being ambushed with Mr Quince's resignation live on air, new Chancellor Mr Zahawi toured TV studios urging MPs to throw down their knives.
He said: "All I would say to my colleagues is people don't vote for divided teams."
It came after rising start Tory MP Ms Trott quit as an aide to the Transport Secretary.
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She said that "trust in politics is – and must always be – of the upmost importance, but sadly in recent months this has been lost".
Mr Quince quit as children's minister after being sent out earlier in the week to defend the PM over the Chris Pincher scandal.
The line the Tory MP was given by No10 later turned out to be incorrect.
In a stinging resignation letter he said: "Thank you for meeting with me yesterday evening and for your sincere apology regarding the briefings I received from No10 ahead of Monday's media round, which we now know to be inaccurate.
"It is with great sadness and regret that I feel that I have no choice but to tender my resignation as minister for children and families as I accepted and repeated those assurances in good faith."
Schools Standards Minister Robin Walker piled in: "The loss of the Rishi Sunak and the Sajid Javid this week, two of our brightest talents from the top team, reflects a worrying narrowing of the broad church that I believe any Conservative Government should seek to achieve."
Ten top Tories have now followed Mr Sunak and Mr Javid out the door.
Mr Sunak was livid that today’s massive National Insurance cut was being overshadowed by No10’s “lack of focus, grip and competence” after months of rolling scandals.
In a blistering resignation letter, he said: “The public rightly expects government to be conducted properly, competently and seriously.
“I recognise this may be my last ministerial job, but I believe these standards are worth fighting for and that is why I am resigning.”
After months of tension between No10 and No11 over tax cuts, borrowing and inflation, Mr Sunak warned it was time for the public to “hear the truth”.
But Mr Johnson hit back that he would finally now be able to cut taxes without being blocked by his nervous neighbour — as he promoted Nadhim Zahawi to take the reins of the nation’s finances in troubled times.
The PM told MPs last night: “I know you’re all avidly in favour of tax cuts and tonight’s events might make that a bit easier to deliver.”
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Another key loyalist Steve Barclay – who had been serving as the PM’s chief of staff – took over running the NHS.
Mr Javid demanded the PM throw in the towel for the good of the Conservative Party — and the country after his handling of Partygate and Gropegate.
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