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