Boris Johnson to resign as Conservative Party leader
He agreed to stand down this morning, and it is expected that a formal announcement will be made later today, following more than 50 resignations from his Government in the last two days.
A No 10 source said Mr Johnson spoke to Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the Conservative 1922 Committee, to inform him of his decision.
“The Prime Minister has spoken to Graham Brady and agreed to stand down in time for a new leader to be in place by the conference in October,” a No 10 source said.
Mr Zahawi’s dramatic intervention came as ministers continue to resign from the Government in their droves, including new Education Secretary Michelle Donelan who was also only appointed on Tuesday night.
In a letter posted on Twitter this morning, Mr Zahawi said he was “heartbroken” that his “old friend” Mr Johnson had not listened to colleagues telling him to step aside.
The Chancellor wrote: “Yesterday I made clear to the Prime Minister alongside my colleagues in Number 10 that there was only one direction where this was going and that he should leave with dignity.
“Out of respect, and in the hopes that he would listen to an old friend of 30 years, I kept this counsel private.
“I am heartbroken that he hasn’t listened and that he is now undermining the incredible achievements of this Government at this late hour.”
He added: “Prime Minister, you know in your heart what the right thing to do is, and go now”
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer believes it is "good news for the country" that Mr Johnson has agreed to go.
He said in a statement this morning: "The Tory party have inflicted chaos upon the country during the worst cost-of-living crisis in decades. And they cannot now pretend they are the ones to sort it out.
“They have been in power for 12 years. The damage they have done is profound.
“Twelve years of economic stagnation. Twelve years of declining public services. Twelve years of empty promises.
“Enough is enough. We don’t need to change the Tory at the top – we need a proper change of government.
“We need a fresh start for Britain.”