Boris must change course by cutting taxes and retuning to Conservative principles - it really is now or never, says Dan Wootton

We need a Chancellor who is prepared to stop the big state approach and we need a Health Secretary who is prepared to reform the NHS

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In a political ambush for the ages, the Chancellor Rishi Sunak and the Health Secretary Sajid Javid, who owe their entire political careers to the Prime Minister, have attempted to finish the career of Boris Johnson.

In the end, it seems like the revolting behaviour of Chris Pincher – the Boris loyalist deputy chief whip – on a depraved Westminster night out last week could have been the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Boris apologised for his misjudgement over that sleaze scandal in an awkward interview at 6pm.

It was at that exact moment the Health Secretary Sajid Javid – who Boris had rescued from the political dead – dropped his resignation bombshell.

Within minutes, the Chancellor Rishi Sunak would follow him out the door of Number 11.

Coordinated or not, it is an attempted coup from two men who are desperate to be Prime Minister and want to shake off any association with a premiership they believe is going down the toilet.

But it is deeply disloyal and I believe deeply irresponsible.

We are in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis.

Up until this weekend, Sunak was co-authoring a plan with Boris on how to save our economy.

And we all know our health system is in a crisis of its own, as it fails to clear the devastating lockdown backlog and remains enthralled by Covid hysterics.

Talk about putting career before country.

But this is an opportunity – it’s probably the last opportunity he has to return the government to the conservative principles that saw him achieve that historic landslide win in 2019.

We need a Chancellor who is prepared to stop the big state/high tax approach.

We need a Health Secretary who is prepared to reform the NHS. Hopefully Steve Barclay will be the man.

Here is your chance, Boris.

Tonight, at a meeting with 80 Tory MPs, Boris is said to have told his backbenchers…

"I know you’re all avidly in favour of tax cuts and tonight’s events might make that a bit easier to deliver."

I repeat: Here is your chance, Boris.

The mainstream media and political establishment will want you to feel tonight this is all over for Boris, but Cabinet big beasts who don’t intend to run for PM remain in post.

Deputy PM Dominic Raab, Home Secretary Priti Patel and top performing Defence Secretary Ben Wallace – who is spearheading our Ukraine war response – have made clear tonight they are staying and remain loyal to Boris.

So too have the Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and the man who previously betrayed Boris, Michael Gove.

As Brexit Opportunities Minister Jacob Rees Mogg said tonight: “The PM won a mandate from the British people and that is more powerful than cabinet ministers resigning."

As I’ve said for many weeks, Boris must change course by cutting taxes and returning to conservative principles.

It really is now or never.