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Cabinet ministers gather to pressure Boris Johnson to quit as prime minister, sources say

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Boris Johnson during a visit to Kigali, Rwanda, this week. Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
Boris Johnson during a visit to Kigali, Rwanda, this week. Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
  • Cabinet ministers gathered on Wednesday to tell Boris Johnson to quit, Insider's sources said.
  • Simon Hart and Brandon Lewis were among those going into Downing Street, as per the sources.
  • But a defiant Johnson hinted he would call a snap election if people become "crazy".
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

A delegation of Cabinet ministers went to Downing Street to tell Boris Johnson he has to stand down, two sources told Insider, after more than 35 members of the government quit this week. 

The delegation includes Welsh Secretary Simon Hart and Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis, the sources said. They requested anonymity to speak frankly.

The Times reported that others included Nadhim Zahawi, the newly-appointed chancellor, as well as Grant Shapps, the transport secretary. 

Sky News reported on Wednesday that Home Secretary Priti Patel and Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan were also in Number 10.

Two further sources said that Johnson could face a new confidence vote if he refuses to go.

The sources, who also requested anonymity to speak frankly, said the Conservative Party's 1922 Committee planned to approve a new vote of no confidence in Johnson on Monday if he doesn't leave.

This could come, the sources said, despite a convention that at least a year should pass between votes. The last vote, which Johnson survived, was on June 6 this year.

Earlier in the day, chief whip Chris Heaton-Harris and Michael Gove, the levelling up secretary, told Johnson he had to resign, as per Insider's sources.

However, speaking to Parliament's Liaison Committee on Wednesday afternoon, Johnson gave no indication that he would leave, instead dropping heavy hints that he would call a general election

Challenged by senior Tory MP William Wragg, the prime minister said: "It's not going to happen unless everybody is so crazy as to have a new… ."

In the same session, he initially refused to rule out a snap election, telling the committee chairman Bernard Jenkin: "The risk is people continue to focus on this kind of thing."

But he later stressed "the most likely date" for an election either 2023 or 2024.


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