Prime Minister Boris Johnson has today told Sir Graham Brady, the chair of the 1922 Committee, that he intends to step down from his role as leader of the Conservative Party.
But Johnson wants to stay on in a caretaker role as prime minister until the Conservative Party choses a new leader to replace him.
However, The Guardian reports that some in the party want to see him leave the premiership before the conclusion of a leadership race.
Johnson will address the nation at lunchtime today.
His announcement comes after a tumultuous 72 hours for his premiership, as more than 40 members of his government resigned in protest of his leadership.
Yesterday also saw the sacking of Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities for perceived disloyalty to the prime minister.
No challengers have officially announced a bid to replace Johnson, however some high-ranking Conservative MPs are reportedly planning campaigns for the prime minister’s office.
As of yesterday evening, betting agencies favoured current Minister of State for Trade Policy Penny Mordaunt, who reportedly has an advanced campaign to take the job, as favourite to replace Johnson.
Current Attorney General Suella Braverman, former Chancellor Rishi Sunak and former Secretary of State for Health Sajid Javid have all also reportedly been considering bids.
Yesterday, a delegation of MPs travelled to 10 Downing Street to encourage the prime minister to leave office, reportedly including Michelle Donelan, who had been appointed Secretary of State for Education the day prior. By today, Donelan had resigned.
Even some of Johnson’s most loyal supporters turned their backs on him in the end, including longtime loyalist Nadine Dorries, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
Walking into 10 Downing Street yesterday afternoon to join a group of MPs urging Johnson to stay, she told reporters that Johnson should remain in the role as prime minister.
But by today, she had penned a letter to Johnson, telling him “this is not working”.
In one of his last actions as Prime Minister, Johnson yesterday penned a letter to first minister Nicola Sturgeon refusing to negotiate on the planning of a second Scottish independence referendum.
Posting on Twitter an image of the prime minister’s letter, Sturgeon wrote,
“Just received this from Johnson (one of his last acts as PM?).
“To be clear, Scotland will have the opportunity to choose independence – I hope in a referendum on 19 October 2023, but, if not, through a general election.”