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Live Reporting

Edited by Francesca Gillett

All times stated are UK

  1. Thanks for joining

    We're ending our live coverage for today, thanks for following.

    For our latest story on the government resignations and Boris Johnson's leadership, head here.

    We'll be back with more live updates on the UK political situation later today.

  2. What's been happening?

    Boris Johnson at No 10

    It's been an eventful 24 hours. Given recent developments - from sackings to resignations - we're all in need of a quick round-up of where we're up to on this political saga.

    • Michael Gove, former levelling up minister, has been sacked by Boris Johnson. No 10 sources called Gove a "snake", adding it's not possible to have someone in cabinet "who gleefully tells the press the leader has to go"
    • Secretary of State for Wales Simon Hart became the third cabinet minister to resign from the PM's government as he called on the PM to resign
    • Hart was part of a group of cabinet ministers - including Home Secretary Priti Patel - who visited the PM this evening telling him to quit
    • Attorney General Suella Braverman told ITV's Robert Peston she will be standing in any leadership contest. Braverman has called on the PM to resign, but she hasn't resigned from Johnson's cabinet because "we need an attorney in government"
    • Since Sajid Javid's resignation as health secretary on Tuesday, more than 40 further ministers and aides have quit Johnson's government
    • PM's aide James Duddridge said Nadhim Zahawi, the newly appointed chancellor, was "solidly behind the prime minister, despite earlier reports that he was part of the group of cabinet ministers calling on Johnson to resign
  3. Zahawi solidly behind Johnson - PM's aide

    Nadhim Zahawi, who was only appointed as chancellor on Tuesday, is "solidly behind" the prime minister, Boris Johnson's parliamentary private secretary has told Sky News.

    Zahawi was earlier reported to have been in No 10 Downing Street as part of a group of cabinet ministers telling Boris Johnson that he should resign.

    But James Duddridge told Sky News earlier that those reports are "wrong" and Zahawi will be announcing a new economic strategy "some time next week".

    Duddridge was emphatic that the PM would "go on and deliver".

  4. Another resignation from PPS at Department of Health

    Conservative MP Gareth Davies has quit as parliamentary private secretary to the Department of Health and Social Care.

    The Grantham and Stamford MP tweeted: "It is with great regret that I have informed the whips office of my resignation as a PPS at the Department of Health and Social Care.

    "It has been a privilege to serve in the role and not a decision I have taken lightly."

    View more on twitter
  5. 'We don't have a functioning government'

    With a third of the government gone following the stream of resignations, can it still be described as functioning?

    Not according to Camilla Cavendish, the former director of the Number 10 Policy Unit. "The key point here is exactly this - we don't have a functioning government," she tells the BBC.

    "As of tonight there aren't enough people to keep the business of the government going. Members of Parliament have already been told there aren't even enough people on the bill committees to actually get the legislation through - that is the fundamental business of government."

    Cavendish adds: "He can try in the next few days to bring new people in and there's always bound to be somebody but he is going to run out of road."

  6. Turmoil as emotionally exhausting, says backbench MP

    Conservative backbencher Bob Seely has been speaking to BBC Radio 4 about Boris Johnson’s refusal to resign.

    Speaking to the World Tonight, he said it's not a case of the calm before the storm, but rather "the storm before the calm".

    He added the political crisis was "a bit like the end of a bad relationship - it's just emotionally exhausting".

    "You think well I've tried, it hasn’t worked, we've given it a few years and we need to move on."

    Seely has withdrawn his support for Johnson after backing him in last month’s vote of confidence. He's now hoping there will be a second vote.

  7. Gove sacking was an act of vengeance, says ex-minister

    Speaking to the BBC, former Conservative minister Margot James criticised Boris Johnson's decision to sack Michael Gove.

    After losing more than 40 ministers in 24 hours, she said it was "grossly irresponsible" to sack "probably the most competent minister in the whole cabinet".

    James added she suspected it was "active vengeance for what happened three years ago".

    In 2016, when David Cameron stepped down, Johnson dropped out of the race for the Conservative leadership bid when Gove - who had previously backed Johnson - announced his own bid. Theresa May went on to win, becoming PM.

    And in 2019, Gove took Johnson on again, after having previously backed him to replace May when she resigned.

  8. Hancock calls on Johnson to resign, saying there'll be a new PM by next week

    Matt Hancock - the former health secretary - says "it's clear" Prime Minister Boris Johnson needs to resign.

    In an interview with ITV's Robert Peston, Hancock says it's a sad end for Johnson.

    He adds: "It's clear whether it's tomorrow or next Tuesday, there's going to be a new prime minister".

    View more on twitter
  9. Braverman's aide backs her

    As we've been hearing, Attorney General Suella Braverman has called on the prime minister to resign - and also said she'd stand for the party leadership. and stated her leadership interests.

    Jason McCartney, parliamentary private secretary to the attorney general's office, has just tweeted his backing: "I agree with my boss the attorney general".

    View more on twitter
  10. BreakingSuella Braverman calls for PM to go and says she would stand for leadership

    The government's Attorney General Suella Braverman says it's "time to go" for Boris Johnson.

    But despite calling on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to resign, she tells ITV's Robert Peston she will continue in her role.

    Braverman adds "I don’t want to resign because I have that duty and we need an attorney in government”.

    "The balance has tipped now in favour of saying that the prime minister - it pains me to say it - but it's time to go."

    Asked whether she's considered standing in any leadership contest, she says she would put her name into the ring.

    View more on twitter
  11. Health minister Ed Argar also resigns

    It's getting late, but the resignations keep on coming. We're just hearing that health minister Ed Argar has also resigned from Johnson's government.

    View more on twitter

    This brings the total number of resignations from ministers and aides up to 44.

  12. More on Simon Hart's resignation

    Simon Hart, MP for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire, had been a part of Boris Johnson's cabinet since 2019.

    In his resignation letter he said PM will be remembered with "energy, vision, determination and humour",

    Hart said he had never been a "massive fan of ministerial resignations being the best means of forcing change".

    But, he adds, it's now past the point where utmost support to help the PM "turn the ship around" is enough.

    Hart was thought to be among a group of cabinet ministers who reportedly went into No 10 earlier today to tell Johnson it was time to go.

    Yesterday, Hart made it made it clear to No 10 that it was "game over" but it shouldn’t have to come by ministerial resignations.

  13. Hart: No other option left but to step down

    Simon Hart, former secretary of state for Wales, has just resigned, bringing the number of cabinet members who have resigned up to three - alongside Sajid Javid and Rishi Sunak.

    In his resignation letter to Boris Johnson, Hart says: "I had desperately hoped that I could avoid writing this letter, but alas there seems no other option left but to step down from my role as secretary of state for Wales".

    He adds: "Colleagues have done their upmost [sic] in private and public to help you turn the ship around, but it is with sadness that I feel we have passed the point where this is possible".

    So far 43 ministers and aides have resigned from Johnson's government.

  14. The scene outside No 10 as cabinet ministers filed inside

    Iain Watson

    Political correspondent

    As a rule of thumb, you can define the significance of the occasion by the number of cameras in Downing Street.

    In the summer sunshine, the street was as busy as it was in the cold of Christmas Eve 2019 when the Brexit deal was about to be struck.

    The Transport Secretary Grant Shapps strode towards No 10, making very public his role as a messenger telling the prime minister what he didn't want to hear.

    Equally publicly, staunch supporter Nadine Dorries arrived at No 10 to express her loyalty.

    TV correspondents report outside 10 Downing Street,

    It's a great British tradition for the massed ranks of the media to shout questions at ministers, rarely expecting a reply.

    But when she left not only did she say that she supported Johnson but when asked if any of her colleagues still did she emphatically declared "yes, definitely" - suggesting the PM wasn't ready to throw in the towel.

    Anne Marie Trevelyan followed in her wake but was tight-lipped on whether she was still in support.

    And the Home Secretary Priti Patel avoided the glare of the cameras entirely - delivering her blow to the PM in private.

    All this has taken place against a soundtrack of an anti-Boris Johnson demonstrator blaring out 'bye bye Boris' to the tune of the similarly titled Bay City Rollers hit, occasionally drowned out by the strains of a marching band practicing in nearby Horse Guards Parade and a helicopter overhead.

  15. Johnson 'turned the revolver on Gove'

    Glass of whisky and gun

    Tim Loughton, Conservative MP for East Worthing and Shoreham, has a novel take on Boris Johnson's firing of Michael Gove.

    He tells Sky News that Michael Gove offered Johnson the "metaphorical bottle of whisky and the revolver".

    "Well clearly Boris has downed the whisky and turned the revolver on Michael Gove.

    "Who would have believed it?"

  16. PM damaging Tory brand, says Elwood

    The Tories have a "patriotic duty" to conclude the chaos that has engulfed government, says Conservative MP Tobias Elwood.

    Elwood represents Bournemouth East and is Chair of the House of Commons Defence Select Committee.

    He quizzed Johnson earlier at the Liaison Committee meeting.

    "We have a patriotic duty to conclude this," he tweeted.

    "It's not just damaging the Conservative brand and diminishing our own electoral prospects it is also undermining the nation’s standing internationally.

    "Britain is better than this."

  17. Three more aides resign

    Meanwhile, there have been three more resignations from Johnson's government. Taking the number of ministers and aides that have resigned - or been sacked - up to at least 41.

    Danny Kruger has now resigned as parliamentary private secretary to the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities - Michael Gove's former department.

    Kruger says he's "very sorry indeed to hear Michael Gove has been fired".

    James Daly, parliamentary private secretary to the Department of Work and Pensions, resigned from his role "with great regret".

    In a letter Daly says Johnson is "sadly unable to lead our government".

    David Mundell also resigned from his role as trade envoy to New Zealand. In a tweet Mundell says he has no confidence in the PM and is "very disappointed".

  18. 'The PM fights on' - No 10 source

    We've been hearing from a No 10 source who has been talking about why the PM is staying on.

    "There is no lectern outside No 10 tonight... the PM fights on," the source says.

    Any suggestion there's a procession of cabinet ministers telling Johnson to go "is not true", the source claims, adding: "He's called their bluff."

    "He has been spelling out to them [cabinet ministers] that 14 million people voted for him," the source says, adding that if the Conservative Party "want to deprive him [Johnson] doing that job, they have take to take that mandate off them".

    The source adds that Johnson explained to cabinet ministers tonight that the options are not "Boris or no Boris".

    Rather, it's about giving Johnson either a "fresh chancellor and new programme, that Rishi was not prepared to do" or "spend months ripping each other apart to elect a leader without a mandate - coalition of chaos and Labour who will break up Britain".

  19. Why is Michael Gove's sacking significant?

    Michael Gove and Boris JOhnson
    Image caption: Michael Gove and Boris Johnson worked together on the Vote Leave campaign

    Michael Gove is a senior and long-standing figure in the Conservative Party and has served in a strong of high-level posts, from his 2010 appointment as Education Secretary onwards.

    He has been Chief Whip, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Justice Secretary and Environment Secretary, as well as the role he was just sacked from, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

    Gove worked closely with Johnson on the Vote Leave Brexit campaign.

    He has remained loyal to Johnson since he became prime minister. However, during the 2016 Conservative leadership race he initially backed Boris Johnson but later dramatically withdrew his backing, announcing he would run himself. That contest was ultimately won by Theresa May.

    Gove also ran against Johnson in the 2019 Tory leadership race.