The exact number of resignations that will end Boris Johnsons time as Prime Minister

Boris Johnson is 'absolutely' honest claims Nadhim Zahawi

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While Laura Trott’s resignation this morning as a Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) represented a continuing drip, drip of members of the Government ministers heading to the door she was on the very bottom rung and can easily be replaced. The issue comes with the top of the Government, particularly the Cabinet and when a number of them go Mr Johnson’s position will be unsustainable. Tory MPs believe that another four to join former Chancellor Rishi Sunak and ex-Health Secretary Sajid Javid is that number.

As the Government continued to slowly dissolve, one Tory MP said to me this morning: “We need another four cabinet ministers. That will be enough and then it is curtains.”

But failing that, the MP noted: “We [the anti-Boris MPs] will win the 1922 Committee election next week, change the rules and vote him out. Then it will be curtains anyway.”

The fragility of the Government and desperation to stop other big names going was best summed up with the extraordinary saga that led to Nadhim Zahawi being named as the new Chancellor late last night.

There was a strong indication that Home Secretary Priti Patel or Foreign Secretary Liz Truss were the frontrunners and preferred choices of Mr Johnson and his advisors.

But instead, to stave off another damaging resignation he was forced to go with Zahawi the now-former education secretary.

Mr Zahawi, who has a leadership team ready to go, had been texting friends and allies and making calls about whether he should follow Sunak and Javid out of the door.

The plan was to think about it overnight and then make a decision for the 6am bulletins.

But instead, after not professing loyalty immediately, Johnson called him into Downing Street for a face-to-face.

There, sources have claimed, the Prime Minister was told by Mr Zahawi that he would resign unless he was made Chancellor.

After a standoff and debate, Mr Johnson caved in knowing he could ill afford to lose another member of his top team.

Mr Zahawi has since been mocked by colleagues as “the weekend Chancellor” who “sold his manhood cheap.”

But the eye is now on senior ministers including those just below Cabinet level to see if any more will abandon the sinking ship.

If things continue to run out of control for the Prime Minister on a day he is due to be grilled at both PMQs and by the liaison committee then it could be that other top ministers will say enough is enough.

Already, there is widespread speculation about Penny Mordaunt who has stayed on despite going to the top of the bookmakers’ list of favourites to succeed.


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She is not senior enough in the Government to land a final blow but if Ms Truss or Ms Patel or both were to pull the plug then it would be difficult to see Mr Johnson surviving.

Similarly, Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab, who also has leadership ambitions, is a man to watch.

Those are the key three and it would be surprising if a fourth did not follow them out.

Once the stampede to the door starts properly then the Boris Johnson Government will be crushed under the frantic running feet.

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