Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi has written a letter to Boris Johnson, telling him he “must do the right thing and go now”.
He said in a statement: “My number one priority has and always will be this great country. When asked to become Chancellor, I did it out of loyalty. Not to a man, but loyalty to this country and all it has given me.
“The challenges Britain faces, be it inflation or Putin’s war in Ukraine, will not pause for anything, and it is vital that the major offices of state continue to function through a national crisis. If people have thought poorly of me for that decision, it is criticism I am willing to shoulder.
“Yesterday, I made clear to the Prime Minister alongside my colleagues in No 10 that there was only one direction where this was going, and that he should leave with dignity. Out of respect, and in the hopes that he would listen to an old friend of 30 years, I kept this counsel private.
“I am heartbroken that he hasn’t listened and that he is now undermining the incredible achievements of this Government at this late hour. No one will forget getting Brexit done, keeping a dangerous antisemite out of No10, our handling of covid and our support for Ukraine in its hour of need.
“But the country deserves a Government that is not only stable, but which acts with integrity.
“Prime Minister, you know in your heart what the right thing to do is, and go now.”