Foreign secretary Boris Johnson has resigned amid growing anger at Theresa May’s Brexit plans.
His resignation follows that of Brexit secretary David Davis who quit late last night.
Senior Tory sources are now briefing they expect May to face a leadership challenge. The prime minister now faces a crunch meeting of the parliamentary party this evening.
A Downing Street 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.’
The resignations of the two cabinet ‘big beasts’ comes just days after May secured senior ministers’ agreement at Chequers for a Brexit plan about which both men had expressed reservations.
Davis was first to go, announcing his exit just before midnight on Sunday.
But there was growing speculation about Johnson’s plans on Monday after he failed to attend a meeting of the government’s Cobra emergencies committee as well as a summit of Western Balkan nations being held in London.
European Council president Donald Tusk has said the ‘mess caused by Brexit is the biggest problem in the history of EU-UK relations’, according to reports.
Meanwhile Labour’s deputy leader Tom Watson said: ‘Theresa May’s government is in meltdown. This is complete and utter chaos.
‘The country is at a standstill with a divided and shambolic government. The prime minister can’t deliver Brexit and has zero authority left.’
Speaking in the House of Commons May said she wanted to ‘recognise the passion’ that the outgoing foreign secretary had shown in promoting a ‘global Britain to the world’.
May added that she wanted to recognise the work of the former Brexit secretary on steering through some of the ‘most important legislation for generations’.
A replacement for Johnson is expected shortly.