Johnson hanging by a thread as Tory MPs quit
Boris Johnson’s grip on power was weakening by the hour as a delegation of ministers heads to Downing Street to tell him it was time to go.
Levelling Up Minister Michael Gove, Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis and former Justice Secretary Robert Buckland were among the big hitters telling the PM he must resign.
Tory backbenchers including Scottish leader Douglas Ross, West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine MP Andrew Bowie, together with Craig Tracey, Anna Firth, Aaron Bell and Nickie Aiken have demanded that Mr Johnson resign or face a new No Confidence Vote.
The 1922 Committee of Tory backbenchers was expected to meet at 5pm today to consider allowing another vote of no confidence in Mr Johnson, possibly as early as next week.
Following the dramatic resignations of Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Sajid Javid last night, the list of departures grew to more than 40.
Bookmaker Boyle Sports said Mr Johnson was now 1/10 From 2/1 to leave Downing Street. Johnson supporters and optimists can get odds of 6/1 about him still being in the role on 1 January.
The new chancellor Nadhim Zahawi is expected to push for early tax cuts, a reversal of the corporation tax rise to 25% from next April, and a further cut in fuel duty as he tackles a number of severe challenges. Inflation is running at a 40-year high, the cost of borrowing is likely to rise further and the economy is poised to enter recession.
The FTSE 100 closed in positive mood, up 82.3 points at 7,107.77, but the political uncertainty combined with the strength of the dollar has pushed sterling 0.4934% lower to $1.1889. Earlier it fell to $1.877, new low since the early days of the pandemic.
However, talk of a summer emergency budget is running alongside speculation of an early general election.
Following Prime Minister’s Questions, Mr Javid delivered a resignation statement to MPs in which he said he had spent many months giving Mr Johnson the “benefit of the doubt”, but there was a point when “enough is enough”. Rishi Sunak has no plans to make a statement.
Mr Johnson faced a volley of criticism and demands to resign, but responded by stating: “The job of a PM… is to keep going! And that’s what I’m going to do.”
After being grilled at PMQs, Mr Johnson faced the Liaison Committee which is seeking responses to the impact of the war in Ukraine on the UK, the government’s response to the rising cost of living, integrity in politics, and the rule of law.
The Committee is made up of the MPs who chair all the other select committees (health, education, defence etc).
The sessions usually last for around two hours and give MPs the chance to question Boris Johnson on all sorts of issues.
Departures so far include:
Rishi Sunak – Chancellor
Sajid Javid – Health Secretary
Simon Hart – Wales
Rachel Maclean – Home Office
Stuart Andrew – Housing
Jo Churchill – Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Victoria Atkins – Prisons and Probation
John Glen – Treasury and City
Robin Walker – School standards
Will Quince – Children and families
Alex Chalk – Solicitor general
Julia Lopez – Culture .
Lee Rowley – Business
Alex Burghart – Education
Neil O’Brien – Levelling up
Kemi Badenoch – Local government
Mims Davies – Employment
Felicity Buchan – parliamentary private secretary (PPS) to the Business Secretary
Laura Trott – PPS to the Transport Secretary
Jonathan Gullis – PPS to the Northern Ireland Secretary
Saqib Bhatti – PPS to the Health Secretary
Nicola Richards – PPS to the Department for Transport
Virginia Crosbie – PPS at the Welsh office
David Johnston – PPS to the Department for Education
Claire Coutinho – PPS to the Treasury
Selaine Saxby – PPS to the Treasury
Duncan Baker – PPS Levelling Up
Danny Kruger – PPS Levelling Up
James Daly – PPS Work and Pensions
Montgomeryshire Craig Williams and Mark Logan
Bim Afolami – vice-chair of the Conservative Party
David Mundell – trade envoy to New Zealand
Theo Clarke – trade envoy to Kenya
Andrew Murrison – trade envoy to Morocco