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Is this the end for Boris Johnson?

Tory MPs expect others in the cabinet to follow Rishi Sunak and Sajid Javid in resigning.

By Harry Lambert

Sajid Javid and Rishi Sunak have resigned from Boris Johnson’s government. Javid resigned at 6.02pm, expecting others to follow him – Sunak followed within minutes.  

“Yesterday the party’s patience snapped,” a senior Tory tells me. “This is the end. [Johnson] has just lost his Chancellor and his ex-chancellor. The game is up.” 

Will there be more cabinet resignations tonight? “I think there might be,” said Jeremy Hunt with what appeared to be a knowing smile when I asked him as much in Westminster minutes after Sunak resigned.

When I told one leading rebel of Javid’s resignation as it happened, they were not surprised. “I knew he would go. Penny [Mordaunt] will go too now,” they thought. Many are likely to do so. 

You do not lose your chancellor and survive in office,” a fourth MP tells me. “[Johnson] needs someone in No 10 to tell him it’s over.” The MP expects other leadership rivals to break ranks tonight too. “Nadhim [Zahawi] has got a tough decision. Liz [Truss] has got a tough decision,” they say, although they do not expect the Defence Secretary, Ben Wallace – perhaps the leading contender to replace Johnson – to resign.

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One cabinet minister refused to talk, pleading for the time to answer my questions in an hour. They – along with many others – will be considering their position tonight.

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[See also: Why Sajid Javid and Rishi Sunak finally lost patience with Boris Johnson]