BREAKING UPDATE: Rishi Sunak and Penny Mordaunt are bookies’ favourites to replace Boris

And they're off! Official list of eight Tory Party leadership race candidates revealed

Image of Rishi Sunak. Credit: HM Treasury, OGL 3 , via Wikimedia Commons

Rishi Sunak and Penny Mordaunt have emerged as the bookies’ favourites to be the next PM, after Dominic Raab ruled himself out.

UPDATE: 5:45pm (July 7) 

According to bookmakers today, Thursday, July 7, in the early stages of the battle to be the next British Prime Minister, former Chancellor Rishi Sunak is in pole position at 4/1, along with Penny Mordaunt. Dominic Raab was a hot favourite for the role but he reportedly ruled himself out.

Michael Gove was also mentioned as a frontrunner but he has also declared he has no interest in the job., as revealed by There has been no word from Liz Truss – who is currently at a G7 summit in Bali – but she is believed to be making an early return to the UK.

Even though she has not commented, it is thought that Ms Mourdaunt is preparing a campaign team. She was in London today giving a speech to top brass from the Royal Navy.

Rumours have been spreading that new Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi had been secretly plotting a move on the top job for months. Sir Lynton Crosby, the well-known election guru is believed to have been advising him.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace topped a YouGov snap poll among Tory party members as their clear favourite to replace Boris. While on a visit to a military training area in the north of England today, Mr Wallace remained tight-lipped about this news.

UPDATE 1.49 pm (July 7) – Boris Johnson resigned as UK Prime Minister on Thursday, July 7 after three days of top ministers resigning from his government.

Mr Johnson, who has experienced some highs and lows in his time as the leader of the UK, said: “It is clearly now the will of the parliamentary conservative party that there should be a new leader of that party and so a new prime minister.”

“I’ve agreed with Sir Graham Brady… that the process of choosing that new leader should begin now.”

Johnson said he will stay on “until a new leader is in place.”

The thanked his party: “The reason I have fought so hard over 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.”

He continued: “I’m immensely proud of the achievements of this government in getting Brexit done, to settling our relations with the Continent… reclaiming the power for this country to make its own laws in Parliament.

“Getting this country through the pandemic, getting the fastest vaccine roll-out in Europe, the fastest exit from lockdown and in the last few months leading the West in standing up to Putin’s aggression in Ukraine.”

“In the last few days, I have tried to convince my colleagues it would be eccentric to change leader when we are delivering so much, when we have such a vast mandate and when we’re only a couple of points behind in the polls,” he said.

Although he “regrets not to have been successful in those arguments.”

“It’s painful not to be able to see through so many projects myself,” Mr Johnson added.

“But as we’ve seen at Westminster the herd instinct is powerful.

“When the herd moves, it moves.”

“To that new leader,” he said.

“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.”

He thanked the British public for the “immense privilege that you have given me”.

He added that until the next Prime Minister “your interests will be served”.

Mr Johnson concluded: “Even if things seem dark now, our future together is golden.”

UPDATE 1.20 pm (July 7) – Shailesh Vara MP has been appointed Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and Andrew Stephenson MP has been appointed Minister without Portfolio – he will attend Cabinet.

UPDATE 12.49 pm (July 7) – James Cleverly MP has been appointed Secretary of State for Education.

UPDATE 12.45 pm (July 7) – 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.

Sir Kier Starmer announced that if Boris Johnson does not stand aside quickly and instead waits until October to step aside he will bring a no confidence vote to Parliament.

“He needs to go completely,” Sir Keir said.

“None of this nonsense about clinging on for a few months. He’s inflicted lies, fraud and chaos in the country. 

“And, you know, we’re stuck with a government which isn’t functioning in the middle of a cost of living crisis.”

UPDATE 12.38 pm (July 7) – Greg Clark, the former biz secretary under Theresa May, appears to be primed as the new levelling up cabinet minister, replacing Michael Gove, who was sacked on Wednesday, July 6. This has been reported by Sky News’ political editor Beth Rigby.

UPDATE 11.21 am (July 7) – Two more ministers have resigned – Richard Graham has resigned as trade envoy and Environment Minister Rebecca Pow has also stepped down.

Graham said: “I resigned, after serving three prime ministers for 10 years as their trade envoy, earlier this morning. Trust is everything.”

Pow 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.”

59 ministers have now resigned ahead of Boris Johnson’s resignation announcement.

UPDATE 10.30am (July 7) – Downing Street have announced that Boris Johnson will make a public statement later today, expected to be around lunchtime UK time, announcing his resignation.

UPDATE 10.23 am (July 7) – Boris Johnson is expected resign ´within hours´ after losing more than 50 members of his government.

A spokesman for Number 10 said: “The prime minister will make a statement to the country today.”

UPDATE 9.56 am (July 7) – Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi has told Boris Johnson: “You must do the right thing and go now.” Education Secretary Michelle Donelan who replaced Zahawi has resigned.

He said: “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.”

Michelle Donelan’s resignation now means 54 ministers have either resigned or been sacked.

She said in a tweet: “With great sadness I must resign from government.”

UPDATE 9.18 am (July 7) – TWO more ministers have walked – Courts Minister James Cartlidge and Technology Minister Chris Philp.

53 ministers have now resigned from Boris Johnson’s government following the announcement of a further two resignations.

Courts Minister James Cartlidge and Technology Minister Chris Philp join Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis, UK Science Minister George Freeman and Pensions Minister Guy Opperman as leaving on Thursday, July 7.

Philp wrote: “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. I’m therefore stepping down as minister for tech and the digital economy now.”

Cartlidge wrote: “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.”

UPDATE 8.59 am (July 7) – Following the resignation of Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis, UK Science Minister George Freeman and Pensions Minister Guy Opperman have now resigned.

 – The resignations of George Freeman and Guy Opperman now mean that Boris Johnson has lost 51 ministers since resignations started rolling in on July 5.

“Enough is enough. This can’t go on,” Freeman wrote.

“The chaos in No10, the breakdown of Cabinet collective responsibility, the abandonment of the Ministerial code, the defence of impropriety & defiance of Parliament are all insults to the Conservatism I believe in and stand for.”

Opperman wrote: “I resign with great regret, given there are serious ongoing issues that need addressing ranging from cost of living support, to legislation, & parliamentary debates. It should not take the resignation of 50 colleagues, but sadly the PM has left us no choice. He needs to resign.”

UPDATE 8.03 am (July 7) – On the third day of the UK government exodus, Brandon Lewis has resigned on Thursday, July 7.

 Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis has kicked off Thursday, July 7 by announcing that he has resigned from Boris Johnson’s government and called for ‘honesty and integrity’.

Brandon Lewis said: “A decent and responsible Government relies on honesty, integrity and mutual respect – it is a matter of profound personal regret that I must leave Government as I no longer believe those values are being upheld.

“I have submitted my letter of resignation to the Prime Minister.”

UPDATE: 3:24 (July 7) – A Tory source has suggested that in the event of Boris Johnson quitting, Teresa May could be brought in as a temporary PM.

A Government source has reportedly told late on Wednesday, July 6, that if Boris Johnson resigns as Prime Minister, then Teresa May could be brought in as a temporary caretaker PM.

The former Conservative party leader is still a sitting member of parliament and has the previous experience that currently qualifies her more than any of the potential candidates who might run in a leadership contest.

Boris Johnson has made it clear that he has no intention of quitting, but if the 1922 committee changes the party rules then another confident vote will take place almost immediately. Should the PM lose that vote then Mrs May is clearly an ideal stop-gap until another Prime Minister can be selected.

“She knows the ropes and the security stuff. She’s a party woman through and through, she’s definitely not interested in standing for it herself and would be credible. She is uniquely placed”, the source reportedly told the publication.

UPDATE 11.35 pm (July 6) Health minister Edward Argar, once described as a super loyalist has resigned saying: “I fear that a change is needed in order for our party to continue on our shared ambitions for our country.

“Now is the time to consider the future.”

UPDATE 11.39pm (July 6) Cabinet Minister and Wales Secretary Simon Hart has resigned taking the total to four and 43 in total.

UPDATE 10.59pm (July 6) James Duddridge, the prime minister’s Parliamentary Private Secretary has told Sky News Johnson is in a buoyant mood and that he is up for a fight, adding: “He asked me to come out to MPs and tell them he’s up for a fight and he will be making more appointments today.”

According to Duddridge Johnson and the new Chancellor, Nadhim Zahawi will announce a new economic strategy next week that will “definitely” include tax cuts – the “red meat the backbenchers want.”

Johnson is said to be in the process of appointing new ministers with announcements to be made overnight and tomorrow, with Johnson, apparently having said “there’s plenty of people keen, willing and able to serve”.

UPDATE 10.46 pm (July 6) Danny Kruger, a parliamentary private secretary for the Levelling Up department is the latest taking the number to 42. Just how long can this go on?

UPDATE 10.41 pm (July 6)  A further two resignations taking the number to 41 with James Daly, a ministerial aide at the Department of Work and Pensions resigning along with David Mundell UK trade envoy to New Zealand.

Mr Mundell told Sky News he is “very disappointed” Johnson had not listened to colleagues telling him to stand down.

UPDATE 10.21 pm (July 6)Michael Gove, Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Secretary, has reportedly been sacked by Boris Johnson after he withdrew his support and called for the prime minister to go.

Johnson has apparently been told by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps that he stands little chance of commanding a majority should a second confidence vote take place. It is understood that at least 75 MPs have gone from being supporters or neutrals to being opposed to his continued leadership.

Shapps reportedly advised Johnson that an orderly and dignified departure would be in everyone’s best interest.

UPDATE 10.06 pm (July 6)  Redcar MP Jacob Young has resigned as housing and local government parliamentary private secretary saying: “I have agonised throughout today – I have supported the prime minister through thick and thin. It’s because of my loyalty to him, that I urge him to now step aside and allow the country to move forward.”

Young is the first Conservative to ever hold the Redcar seat which he won in the 2019 general election.

That tasks the number of resignations to 40.

UPDATE 9.20 pm (July 6) Reports are coming in that Boris Johnson has said he won’t quit. Apparently, he has warned party members that it is a choice of dealing with the country’s challenges or face a summer of political chaos and upheaval. With many ministers having resigned or called on him to go a cabinet reshuffle is increasingly likely.

UPDATE 8.50 pm (July 6) The BBC’s Chris Mason says he’s been told that Home Secretary Priti Patel has told the prime minister he should resign.

Leader of the Scottish Conservatives Douglas Ross, who voted to remove Johnson at the recent no-confidence vote, says “more and more” of his colleagues now agree with him and think Boris Johnson should resign.

UPDATE 8.01 pm (July 6) Sir Roger Gale says that an overwhelming number of Concervative MPs want Johnson to step and that it would be “kinder” for him to resign than for the rules of the 1922 Committee to be changed to remove him.

Only one member of the 150 strong 1922 committee showed any support for Johnson with all the others saying they wanted him to go.

UPDATE (July 6) Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister of the UK has reportedly been told, while appearing at the Commons Liaison Committee, that a delegation of Cabinet Ministers is waiting for him at Downing Street to tell him to resign from office following the resignation of over 30 of his ministers.

UPDATE 4.37 pm (July 6) – 30 ministers have now resigned – the latest being – Duncan Baker, a PPS in the Levelling Up department, Craig Williams, PPS to the Chancellor and PPS Mark Logan, while another vote of no confidence from Fay Jones, a PPS to the Leader of the House of Commons.

“It has been a privilege to be a PPS for a short term in the DLUHC department and steer important reforms through for not just my constituency but the wider country,” he said.

However, “I do not have confidence in the Prime Minister and resign my role as a PPS in the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities,” he added.

“It has been a real privilege in such a short time to serve in that position and steer through important reforms to help not only my constituency but the country too.”

Twenty-nine members of the UK government have resigned so far, as Johnson faces the Liaison Committee.

Fay Jones wrote: “If the prime minister fails to leave office by tomorrow, I will be formally resigning my role as PPS,” she says.

She added: “While his support of President Zelenskyy and the people of Ukraine has been faultless, and he deserves enormous credit for delivering Brexit and spearheading the vaccine rollout, recent days confirm to me that there is a deep erosion of trust and decency at the heart of government.

“It saddens me greatly that the Conservative Party is so wounded, I no longer believe the prime minister capable of mending those wounds.”

“My letter of resignation as PPS to the Chancellor,” Craig Williams said.

Mark Logan, a PPS at the Northern Ireland Office, wrote: “You did deserve a second chance because being the prime minister is no easy task.

“Indeed, many will agree that you should feel personally proud of some of your achievements.

“But there is only so much anyone can expect my constituents to accept or ignore.

“Our town was one of the most adversely impacted by COVID.

“Too many sacrifices were made during our darkest days.

“It is out of respect for them, along with our dedicated councillors, public servants and everyone who is focused on making Bolton better that I come to this decision.

“They deserve more from leadership.”

UPDATE 3.40 pm (July 6) – 27 members of the UK government have now resigned – Kemi Badenoch, Julia Lopez, Lee Rowley, Alex Burghart and Neil O’Brien, as well as Mims Davies – are the latest names.

The news of their resignations, which occurred at the same time in a joint letter – was slightly overshadowed by the news that Secretary of State Housing Michael Gove told Boris Johnson ‘he must go’.

According to Mail Plus, Gove is currently working in his department and is not planning to lead a wider delegation of ministers to the PM.

Released following the PMQs, the joint letter from the five ministers read: “It is with great regret that we are resigning as members of the government.

“It has been an honour to serve in your administration and we remain extremely grateful for the opportunity you have given us to serve our country.

“You have had the most difficult task in a generation. We hugely admire your fortitude, stamina and enduring optimism.

“You can be rightly proud of the significant decisions which you have, by common acclamation, got right.

“However, it has become increasingly clear that the government cannot function given the issues that have come to light and the way in which they have been handled.

“In good faith, we must ask that, for the good of the party and the country, you step aside.”

Employment Minister Mims Davies wrote: “I have tended my resignation from from the government from a role I have cherished for the last three years. I thank everyone @DWP from bottom of my heart for all their work, friendship & support. But @Conservatives needs a fresh start & I can see no other way forward than this.”

The 1922 committee meeting has been called for later this afternoon (4 pm UK time) and if they change their rules today then a vote of no of confidence could be called tonight.

Former Defence Secretary Liam Fox, said: “I have loyally supported every @Conservatives Leader since 1992. However, today I am withdrawing my support for the Prime Minister. @BorisJohnson’s leadership is untenable.”

Update (July 6) – With no indication of slowing three more of Johnson’s MPs have resigned: Selaine Saxby, Claire Coutinho and David Johnston, leading to arising speculation of Secretary of State Housing Michael Gove possibly being next in line, after failing to show at the PMQs

Saxby wrote on Twitter: “With much regret I can no longer continue in my present role as PPS”

Credit: Twitter @SelaineSaxby

Saxby’s resignation letter read:

“Dear Prime Minister”

“I have not spoken out sooner as I had not wanted to be a distraction in the recent Tiverton and Honiton by-election and divert attention from our excellent candidate and hard-working volunteers.

“Trust, truth and integrity are vital in our work as politicians and public servants, and I had hoped that the reset earlier in the year might have given us the chance for a different direction. However, the events of this week have shown that not to be the case.”

“Inaction is indeed action, and my silence is not compatible with my views or position, and it is with great regret that i have decided to resign as PPS. I remain loyal, as always, to the Conservative Party and my constituents, and whilst I have endeavoured to retain loyalty to your government, this is no longer compatible with the value I hold dear.”

Claire Coutinho also resigned in her role as a parliamentary private secretary to the Treasury stating:

“I firmly believe that what we need now, as we deal with the twin challenges of war in Europe and global inflation, is a laser-like grip on reforming our public services so that they work better for our constituents and focus on charting a path to prosperity through what is an increasingly challenging global outlook.”

“I think the events of recent weeks and months are preventing us from doing that. I, of course, look forward to continuing to serve all of you to the best of my abilities.”

David Johnston, ministerial aide in the Department for Education resigned stating: “I cannot defend what has taken place these past few days – or indeed these past few months.”

Secretary of State Housing Michael Glove’s absence has also led to the speculation that he could possibly be next in line to resign from office, as Johnson’s Government continues to crumble.

UPDATE (July 6) Churchill wrote on Twitter: “It is with a heavy heart that I have this morning tendered my resignation to the Prime Minister. I will not be doing media interviews on this matter.”

Credit: @Jochurchill_MP

Churchill’s full resignation letter read:

“It has been an enormous privilege to have been asked to serve my country as a Minister. ”

“I was honoured to be a Health minister during the pandemic and to work collectively with others to deliver care to the vulnerable and drive solutions to the challenges.”

“Then as a Defra minister, seeking solutions to climate adaptation a. food security has been a similar honour. I strongly believe our farmers, producers and researchers can deliver us the answers.”

“Recent events have shown integrity, competence, and judgernent are all essential to the role of Prime Minister, while a jocular self-serving approach is bound to have its limitations.”

“Our beloved country is facing an uncertain future and strong headwinds, a clear, self-less vision is needed. The country and party deserve better and so with a heavy heart I have decided to resign. ”

“I would like to put on record my thanks to colleagues, civil servants and others who have helped rne through these past years and of course to my wonderful family who have given so much to allow me to serve.”

The Minister for Children, Will Quince has also resigned stating:

“With great sadness and regret, I have this morning tendered my resignation to the prime minister after I accepted and repeated assurances on Monday to the media which have now been found to be inaccurate.”

“I wish my successor well – it is the best job in government.”

His letter read:

“Dear Prime Minister. Thank you for meeting with me yesterday evening and for your sincere apology regarding the briefings I received from No 10 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.

“It has been an honour to serve in government since 2019 at both the Department for Work and Pensions and the Department for Education.

“Reaching this decision has not been easy. Stepping away from a job I love, where we are working every day to improve the life chances of vulnerable and disadvantaged children and young people up and down our country, pains me greatly.

“I will miss it hugely but pledge to do all I can to continue this important work from the backbenches.

“I would like to take this opportunity to put on record my sincere thanks to the hundreds of dedicated and hard-working civil servants with whom it has been a pleasure to work.”

UPDATE 12.39 pm (July 6) – “Atkins wrote on Instagram: “With great sadness and regret, I am resigning as Justice Minister. It has been an enormous privilege to serve.”

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Victoria Atkins (@victoriaatkinsmp)

She wrote in her letter: “Values such as integrity, decency, respect and professionalism should matter to us all.

“I have watched with growing concern as those values have fractured under your leadership, through Patterson, Partygate and Pincher”.

This follows loyal Boris Johnson supporter, Ipswich MP Tom Hunt, submitting a letter of no confidence in the prime minister.

Following the resignation of 15 ministers, Boris Johnson has received a vote of no confidence from former ally Tom Hunt.

Hunt said on Facebook: “I have come to the conclusion, like a large number of my colleagues, that it’s in the best interests of my constituents, the country and the Conservative Party for the prime minister to step down.

“A continuation of the status quo cannot continue and, regretfully, I believe that the prime minister’s tenure in office has run its course.”

Political commentators have had a field day with the string of resignations from the UK government.

Speaking about Boris’ reign as UK Prime Minister, Alistair Campbell told the BBC: “He’s the worst Prime Minister in our history.

“The guy doesn’t care about public service… his entire life has been about himself.”

UPDATE 12.12 pm (July 6) – Two more ministers resign ahead of the PMQs on Wednesday, July 6.

Felicity Buchan, Parliamentary Private Secretary in the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, has resigned along with John Glen, the economic secretary to the treasury.

“It is with great sadness that I have tendered my resignation today as a Parliamentary Private Secretary in the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy,” Buchan wrote on Twitter.

John Glen wrote: “With deep regret I am resigning from the government.”

Fifteen ministers have now resigned.

UPDATE 11.02 am (July 6) – UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has just seen his Schools Minister Robin Walker resign, as the UK government exodus continues.

Following this morning’s (Wednesday, July 6) resignations of Laura Trott, Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Department for Transport and Children and Families Minister Will Quince, Boris Johnson has now lost Schools Minister Robin Walker.

“I have today offered my resignation from the Government & look forward to supporting @conservatives & campaigning for #Worcester from the backbenches, it has been a privilege to work to support our brilliant schools,” he wrote.

“Although I cannot think of a better or more rewarding job than the one I have been doing, I cannot in good conscience continue to serve in your Government.”

The resignation of Walker is the 13th since 6 pm on Tuesday, July 5.

UPDATE 9.35 am (July 6) – In another blow to PM Boris Johnson, Laura Trott has resigned from her role as Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Department for Transport as has Will Quince from his role as Children and Families Minister.

MP Laura Trott, senior aid to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, announced her resignation on Wednesday, July 6, in she said her “trust in politics is – and must always be – of the utmost importance, but sadly in recent months this has been lost.”

“I want to update you all, that I have resigned from my role as Parliamentary Private Secretary, to the Department of Transport,” she said via Facebook.

“Trust in politics is – and must always be – of the upmost importance, but sadly in recent months this has been lost.

“Thank you to all of you who have written to me expressing your views. I have read them carefully, and taken them into consideration as part of my decision.

“I have, and will always, put the residents of Sevenoaks and Swanley front and centre of my work in Westminster.”

Will Quince wrote: “With great sadness and regret, I have this morning tendered my resignation to the Prime Minister after I accepted and repeated assurances on Monday to the media which have now been found to be inaccurate.

“I wish my successor well – it is the best job in government.”

Their resignations come after a string of top government officials resigned late on Tuesday, July 5, hours after the revelation that UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson had known about sexual misconduct allegations against former deputy chief whip Chris Pincher.

UPDATE: Wednesday, July 6 at 3:17 am – Rebel Tory MPs have warned Boris Johnson that he faces a mutiny if he refuses to resign.

A mutiny is brewing among rebel Tory MPs who want Boris Johnson to resign. They went so far last night, Tuesday, July 5, as warning the PM that the party’s rules could be changed if he didn’t go. Several voiced their belief that his leadership would be over by the weekend.

Another confidence vote has been threatened by MPs for next week if Mr Johnson refuses to resign. “If he had any decency then he’d resign, but he won’t. The Cabinet know it’s over but they keep propping him up”, one of the rebels told The Mirror.

Boris Johnson has been compared to Rasputin by former chief whip Andrew Mitchell during an interview last night with BBC Newsnight. “It’s a bit like the death of Rasputin. He’s been poisoned, stabbed, he’s been shot, his body’s been dumped in the freezing river and still, he lives!”, said Mitchell.

He added: ‘This is an abnormal Prime Minister – brilliantly charismatic, very funny, very amusing, big, big character, but I’m afraid he has neither the character nor the temperament to be our prime minister”.

Johnson’s position was “untenable’, according to the chairman of the Commons justice committee, Sir Bob Neill, while speaking with the”Radio Times. He added though that the PM “may well seek to cling on”, which, if he did,  would damage the Conservative party.

Pressure was being put on Sir Graham Brady last night. The Chairman of the 1922 committee of Tory backbenchers – which sets the rules for the parliamentary party in the House of Commons – was urged to tell Boris Johnson to resign, as reported by


UPDATE: Tuesday, July 5 at 11:35pm – Steve Barclay is new Health Minister

As a hectic few hours at Downing Street draw to a close this evening, Boris Johnson has promoted Steve Barclay, chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, and his current chief of staff. He will replace Sajid Javid as Health Secretary after the position was left vacant by Javid’s resignation earlier today.

Things have quietened down again now, but the Prime Minister also lost the Tory vice-chairman, Bim Afolami this evening. Jonathan Gullis, Saqib Bhatti, Nicola Richards, and Virginia Crosbie have also all decided to step down from their PPS roles.

Lord Frost, tweeting about the spate of resignations, tweeted @DavidGHFrost:

UPDATE: Tuesday, July 5 at 11:07pm – Nadhim Zahawi made Chancellor

Boris Johnson has appointed the former Education Secretary, Nadhim Zahawi, as the new Chancellor of the Exchequer. He replaces Rishi Sunak, who dramatically resigned from the Cabinet earlier this evening.

While Zahawi takes over at the Treasury, his old job post will be filled by Michelle Donelan, the Chippenham MP who has been promoted from Minister of State for Higher and Further Education, to Education Secretary.

The Prime Minister was possibly buoyed by the news tonight that Deputy PM Dominic Raab, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, Home Secretary Priti Patel, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace and Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey had no intention of resigning.


UPDATE: Tuesday, July 5 at 9:54pm

Following the bombshell resignations earlier today of Chancellor Rishi Sunak, and Health Secretary Sajid Javid, Boris Johnson has been rocked by more departures. Bim Afolami has quit his post as Tory party vice-chairman while appearing live on TalkTV.

The MP for Hitchin and Harpenden made a similar plea as the previous ministers did, urging Boris Johnson to step down as Prime Minister.

“After recent allegations about the former deputy chief whip and other things that have happened over recent weeks, I just don’t think the Prime Minister any longer has, not just my support, but he doesn’t have, I don’t think, the support of the party, or indeed the country any more”, said Mr Afolami.

He continued: “I think for that reason he should step down”, adding that “after having said that”, he was probably no longer going to be the party’s vice-chairman.


Tuesday, July 5 at 7:47pm

Boris Johnson’s reign as Prime Minister is surely reaching a climax this evening, Tuesday, July 5, after not one, but two of his top ministers resigned from the Cabinet. First to go was Health Secretary Sajid Javid. He was followed only minutes later by his Chancellor Rishi Sunak.

Mr Sunak informed the PM in his resignation letter that: “We cannot continue like this. 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”.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid though did not hold back, he demanded that Mr Johnson resigns because he believed he was no longer the right man to lead the Tories, or the country, questioning both his integrity and leadership skills.

Piers Morgan was among the first to tweet @piersmorgan:

The Prime Minister had made a grovelling apology only minutes before the two bombshell resignations hit him. His handling of the scandal surrounding the shamed Chris Pincher forced him into making an apology.

Downing Street admitted that Mr Johnson had already been aware of complaints made against Mr Pincher when he installed him in the role as deputy chief whip.

“It is with enormous regret that I must tell you that I can no longer, in good conscience, continue serving in this Government”, Mr Javid wrote to the PM. “I am instinctively a team player but the British people also rightly expect integrity from their Government. The tone you set as a leader, and the values you represent, reflect on your colleagues, your party and ultimately the country”.

He continued: “Conservatives at their best are seen as hard-headed decision-makers, guided by strong values. We may not have always been popular, but we have been competent in acting in the national interest. Sadly, in the current circumstances, the public is concluding that we are now neither”.

“The vote of confidence last month showed that a large number of our colleagues agree. It was a moment for humility, grip and new direction. I regret to say, however, that it is clear to me that this situation will not change under your leadership – and you have therefore lost my confidence too”, the former Health Secretary concluded.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer tweeted his thoughts on today’s resignations @Keir_Starmer:


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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at