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Rishi Sunak is nervously waiting to see if Boris Johnson’s allies will leave the post of deputies Politics news


Rishi Sunak and the Tory high command are anxiously waiting to see if more of Boris Johnson’s allies leave MPs – amid fears the feud will plunge the party into civil war.

Johnson’s supporters claim two more MPs are under “resignation” after Nadine Dorries and Nigel Adams joined the former prime minister in resignation with immediate effect and the triggering of by-elections.

But some government supporters believe that support for the insurgency is winding down. Statements by Johnson’s camp that six more MPs are ready to resign have yet to come true.

Political center: Live reaction to the shock resignation

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1:07 a.m

What does Johnson’s departure mean for Sunac?

Some of Mr Johnson’s closest associates – led by the newly knighted Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg – have publicly said they will not resign, despite openly supporting the former prime minister.

Writing in The Mail on Sunday, Sir Jacob said: “I have no intention, unlike some of my fellow Boris supporters, of giving up my seat in the House of Commons. I will fight for my seat in North East Somerset at the next election and campaign for a Conservative victory at the national level.”

He also said Mr Johnson’s resignation – and his view that he may run for another seat at the next election – “puts him in a better position to return as Conservative leader if a vacancy arises”.

In his angry resignation letter on Friday night, Mr Johnson said: “It is very sad to be leaving Parliament – at least for now.”

Making a direct threat to Mr Sunak, Sir Jacob added: “I would like to strongly warn Conservative Party leaders against any attempt to block Boris if he seeks the party’s nomination for another seat.

“Any attempt to do so would destroy our fragile party unity and plunge the Conservatives into a civil war.”

Read more:
Beth Rigby: Does Johnson have the appetite to win again?
The front pages of the national newspaper on Sunday

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Nadine Dorries speaks to Sky News after resigning

Leading hard Brexiteer Lord Frost, writing in The Sunday Telegraph, also predicted Johnson’s return, saying: “It is true that he is leaving Parliament, but only, as he says, ‘for now.’

But party bigwigs opposed to Mr Johnson’s return, led by former deputy prime minister Lord Heseltine, have called on the party leadership to block the former prime minister’s return to the House of Commons.

“It is inconceivable to me that in these circumstances he can run for Parliament again for the Conservative Party,” Lord Heseltine wrote in The Observer.

“Conservative Central Office must approve the official Conservative candidate. No doubt he will now go out into the world and make vast sums of money writing history as he thinks it has been done. But it will have little to do with the reality he left behind.”

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From journalist to prime minister

Sir Keir Starmer, the Labor leader, called for a general election after three senior figures resigned from the House of Commons, saying Mr Sunack had lost control of his government.

“Rishi Sunak must finally find his footing, call an election and let the public have their say on 13 years of Tory failure,” Sir Keir wrote in the Sunday Mirror.

“This farce must stop. People have had enough.”

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