Boris Johnson has resigned as foreign secretary, becoming the third minister in 24 hours to walk out of the government rather than back Theresa May’s plans for a soft Brexit.
The prime minister hammered out a compromise with her deeply divided cabinet in an all-day meeting at Chequers on Friday, but after consulting friends and allies, Johnson decided he could not promote the deal.
Pressure on the foreign secretary had been mounting since fellow pro-Brexiter David Davis resigned as Brexit secretary on Sunday night, swiftly followed by his No 2 at the Department for Exiting the EU, Steve Baker.
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.”
Friends said Johnson had been finalizing his resignation letter, but Downing Street announced his departure before he had completed it.