- David Davis resigned as Brexit Secretary at midnight in protest at Theresa May’s plans for the UK’s exit
- Mr Davis said her policies announced at Chequers would leave UK in a ‘weak’ negotiating position with EU
- Boris Johnson followed suit this afternoon by quitting as Foreign Secretary after hours of speculation
- PM’s job hanging by a thread as she faces stormy appearance before Commons and Tory backbenchers
- Jacob Rees-Mogg said he would oppose the PM’s proposals and accused her of trying to ‘bounce’ ministers
- Mrs May’s chief of staff has been briefing Opposition MPs to try to win wider support for her Brexit blueprint
Theresa May is in a desperate battle for her political life today after Boris Johnson dramatically quit over her ‘third way’ Brexit plan.
The Foreign Secretary resigned just minutes before the PM took to her feet the Commons to give a statement to MPs about the compromise package she forced through the Cabinet on Friday night.
Mrs May tried to put a brave face on the shattering blow this afternoon, paying tribute to Mr Johnson’s commitment to ‘Global Britain’. She mounted an impassioned defence of her blueprint, saying it was the ‘Brexit in our national interest’.
But some Labour MPs jeered ‘bye’ and ‘resign’ as she stood up to address the chamber.
Mrs May must endure the pressure cooker of a private meeting with Tory backbenchers later amid a massive backlash from Eurosceptics that is threatening to sweep her out of Downing Street.
The premier’s grip on Downing Street is hanging by a thread after Mr Johnson delivered his bombshell news after hours of speculation about his intentions. Mrs May’s allies will fear a bid to oust her will come almost immediately.
A No10 spokesman said: ‘This afternoon, the Prime Minister accepted the resignation of Boris Johnson as Foreign Secretary. His replacement will be announced shortly. The Prime Minister thanks Boris for his work.’
Senior Tory Brexiteers Jacob Rees-Mogg said the departure was more ‘proof that Chequers is not Brexit’. Former Cabinet minister John Whittingdale hailed the ‘enormous act of bravery’.
But in a sign of the tensions threatening to rip the party to pieces, Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said the PM was ‘correct to accept the Foreign Secretary’s resignation’.