Within just one day, British Prime Minister Johnson lost large parts of his government team: numerous ministers gave up. Those who remained visit him at the seat of government, and some call on Johnson to resign. But he refuses - and throws out a minister.
According to media reports, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has rejected calls for a number of cabinet members to resign. As the broadcaster Sky News reported in the evening, a delegation of cabinet members had visited Johnson at 10 Downing Street and asked him to resign. Among them is said to have been Finance Minister Nadhim Zahawi, who was only appointed to his post on Tuesday. His predecessor Rishi Sunak had resigned hours earlier in protest at Johnson's leadership style.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps is said to have also belonged to the delegation. The previously ultra-loyal Home Secretary Priti Patel, Economics Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng and Building and Housing Secretary Michael Gove are also said to have opposed Johnson. In addition, around three dozen conservative MPs have resigned from their government and party offices since Tuesday.
As the BBC and the "Guardian" reported, Johnson then summarily threw Gove out in the evening. BBC Political Editor Chris Mason quoted a government source on Twitter as explaining Gove's sacking: "It cannot be that a snake that does not side with the party on any of the important arguments then cheerfully informs the press that they have called for the prime minister to be removed. You can't work like that."
According to the British media, Johnson also told his cabinet colleagues that he would not be leaving, Sky News reported in the evening, citing party and government circles. Otherwise, the country will be thrown into chaos and the Conservatives will be punished in the next general election, Johnson reportedly said. That leaves only a change in Tory party rules to launch another no-confidence vote in Johnson and oust the PM. It is expected that this could happen next Monday.
The Tory party leader narrowly survived a no-confidence vote in his group just a month ago. Under Tory party rules, no new attempt may be made for 12 months after the vote. According to his spokeswoman, he wants to rise to the challenge. Johnson is unlikely to survive another vote of no confidence given the growing criticism within his party.