Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis quit early on Thursday, piling further pressure on the embattled Prime Minister.
07 July 2022
Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis has resigned from the Cabinet, piling further pressure on the embattled Prime Minister.
Mr Lewis told Boris Johnson the Government requires “honesty, integrity and mutual respect” and it is “now past the point of no return”,
His resignation early on Thursday came just hours after former Johnson ally Suella Braverman, the Attorney General, also publicly urged the Prime Minister to go.
Mr Johnson rejected calls to quit on Wednesday and dramatically sacked Cabinet rival Michael Gove.
He was later hit with the departure of a third Cabinet minister – Welsh Secretary Simon Hart.
Mr Johnson met ministers in No 10 on Wednesday, where he was told he has lost the confidence of the Conservative Party and should not continue in office – but refused to listen.
Mr Gove is thought to have told the Prime Minister on Wednesday morning that it is time for him to quit.
That was followed by a delegation of Cabinet ministers going to Downing Street to tell Mr Johnson he should stand down after losing the trust of his MPs.
They included Home Secretary Priti Patel, Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, Northern Ireland Secretary Mr Lewis and Welsh Secretary Mr Hart.
Allies including Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries and Brexit Opportunities Minister Jacob Rees-Mogg remained supportive of the Prime Minister.
Helen Whately, MP for Faversham and Mid Kent, also quit the Government early on Thursday.
But Mr Johnson faces the prospect of another confidence vote, orchestrated by the Tory 1922 Committee of backbench MPs.
A new executive for the committee will be elected next Monday and could change the leadership rules, allowing for another confidence vote just a month after the last one – which the Prime Minister may lose given the way MPs have deserted him since Tuesday.