Priti Patel believed to have joined Cabinet ministers telling Boris Johnson to quit
The Home Secretary had been one of the Prime Minister's most vocal supporters
Home Secretary Priti Patel is reported to be among the ministers urging Boris Johnson to stand down.
Ms Patel is understood to have spoken to the Prime Minister to convey the “overwhelming view” of the parliamentary party.
A delegation of ministers met with Boris Johnson to urge him to leave Downing Street, as he haemorrhaged support across the Tory ranks.
The Prime Minister insisted “I’m not going to step down” as sources said Grant Shapps and Brandon Lewis are among a group of once-loyal allies demanding he quits.
Seventeen ministers, and a line of ministerial aides, resigned as Mr Johnson’s authority drained away in a dramatic 24 hours in Westminster.
His battle to remain in power will reach new heights during the clash with Cabinet members, with sources telling the PA news agency Mr Lewis, the Northern Ireland Secretary, believes his position is “now untenable”.
Mr Shapps, the Transport Secretary, who was key in the Prime Minister’s fight for survival during partygate, was also understood to be part of the group, as was Welsh Secretary Simon Hart.
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng is also understood to believe the Prime Minister now has to go.
Reports even suggested Nadhim Zahawi, who was only appointed Chancellor on Tuesday, will be among those taking part in the showdown with Mr Johnson.
But loyalist Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries was also in No 10 and insisted the Prime Minister could still continue in office.
Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab also remained loyal to Mr Johnson and defended him at a session of the backbench 1922 Committee.
Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the Conservative 1922 Committee, was thought to be in Downing Street communicating the views of backbenchers following the meeting in Parliament dominated by MPs calling for Mr Johnson to go.
The talks came after the Prime Minister faced an intense grilling before opposition critics and Tory MPs alike on the Commons Liaison Committee, as the stream of ministerial resignations continued.
After being repeatedly pressed for a direct answer, Mr Johnson said “of course” he ruled out triggering a general election if the Tories force him from office.
Told that there was a delegation of Cabinet ministers waiting for him at Downing Street, Mr Johnson referred to the invasion of Ukraine and said “I can’t for the life of me see how it is responsible just to walk away from that”.
He did not deny reports that Cabinet minister Michael Gove told him early on Wednesday that he must stand down, but insisted he would still be leader on Thursday.
The mass resignation of ministers, along with a string of parliamentary aides, came after Rishi Sunak and Sajid Javid quit their Cabinet posts on Tuesday evening.