A cabinet minister has called on Boris Johnson to step down and threw her hat in the ring to become the next prime minister – but refused to leave cabinet.
Suella Braverman publicly told the defiant Prime Minister “it’s time to go” and confirmed she would be running in the seemingly inevitable Tory leadership election.
But she took the remarkable step of doing so without leaving her post and attempted to continue as Attorney General, despite admitting that the man who appointed her was effectively crouching in Number 10.
It’s a humiliating blow to Mr Johnson, the formerly staunch supporter questioning his authority while breaking convention for her to resign for it, effectively urging the Prime Minister to sack her.
Ms Braverman is due to appear in the House of Commons just after 10am but it is unclear if she will still be in office.
After Mr Johnson publicly undermined the Prime Minister’s authority last night, despite being a close ally dating back to the Brexit campaign, he is expected to sack her.
Michael Gove was sacked yesterday after privately telling the Prime Minister he no longer had his support amid dozens of government resignations.
The government is thrown into battle, despite the resignation of Simon Hart, the Welsh secretary, as the third member of the cabinet.
Speaking to ITV’s Robert Peston, Ms Braverman said the Prime Minister had “appalledly” handed over the Chris Pincher affair in recent days.
She said: “The balance has now tipped in favor of saying that the Prime Minister – it pains me to say it – but it’s time to go.”
Asked if she would be stepping down, Ms Braverman said: “My first duty is to the country, Robert, and as an attorney, I am the lead counsel.
“And we’re in a crisis and I have legal and constitutional responsibilities…
“I don’t want to resign because I have this duty. We need a prosecutor.«
When asked if she realized Mr Johnson was likely to sack her, she said: “That is his decision and I will do what the PM asks of me.”
Downing Street is primed for more resignations today but Mr Johnson’s allies have insisted he is determined to fight on.
Last night Number 10 said he and newly appointed Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi will announce tax cuts and a new economic strategy in a joint speech.
But there were chaotic scenes when a briefing that the speech would be held today was withdrawn within minutes and the event pushed back to next week.
James Duddridge, a parliamentary private secretary to the Prime Minister, said Mr Johnson was in “high spirits” and would “keep fighting”.
Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the Tory 1922 Committee, spoke to Mr Johnson on Wednesday to set out the extent of the backbench opposition.
A new board of directors for the committee will be elected on Monday, which could change the rules of governance and would allow for another vote of confidence just a month after the last.
If this rule change goes through, Mr Johnson could face the Tory MPs’ poll as early as Tuesday.
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https://metro.co.uk/2022/07/07/boris-faces-humiliating-plea-to-stop-squatting-in-number-10-from-cabinet-ally-16956920/ Boris faces a humiliating request from his cabinet ally not to sit in number 10 anymore