Queen leaves Sandringham amid Boris Johnson turmoil and minister resignations


Unshakable Queen looks thoughtful as she leaves Sandringham for Windsor amid political turmoil and Boris Johnson faces calls to quit at PMQs

  • The Queen, 96, left Sandringham for Windsor amid political turmoil in London
  • Looked thoughtful as she was driven in the back of a car to a waiting helicopter 
  • Boris Johnson faced calls to resign during heated Prime Minister’s Questions 

The Queen has travelled back from Sandringham to Windsor as the Prime Minister faced political turmoil at Westminster. 

The Queen, 96, was photographed looking thoughtful as she was driven from Wood Farm, on the Norfolk estate, to a helicopter for a flight back to Windsor on Wednesday morning. 

It came as Mr Johnson faced down a battering at Prime Minister’s Questions today as he desperately tries to cling on to power despite more ministers resigning and even loyalists turning against him. 

The chaos was triggered by the high profile departures of Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Sajid Javid on Tuesday night. 

The Queen, 96, was photographed looking thoughtful as she was driven from Wood Farm, on the Norfolk estate, to a helicopter for a flight back to Windsor on Wednesday morning

The Queen, 96, was photographed looking thoughtful as she was driven from Wood Farm, on the Norfolk estate, to a helicopter for a flight back to Windsor on Wednesday morning

The Queen, who has been served by 14 Prime Ministers including Boris Johnson, looked unperturbed as she made the journey

The Queen, who has been served by 14 Prime Ministers including Boris Johnson, looked unperturbed as she made the journey

The Queen has travelled back from Sandringham to Windsor as the Prime Minister faced political turmoil at Westminster

The Queen has travelled back from Sandringham to Windsor as the Prime Minister faced political turmoil at Westminster

The Queen, who has been served by 14 Prime Ministers including Boris Johnson, looked unperturbed as she made the journey. 

She was dressed in a blue printed dress, cream cardigan and travelling jacket for the short flight to Berkshire. 

Mr Johnson received jeers and cheers as he took to his feet in the chamber with his prospects of survival looking increasingly slim, but joked that it is a ‘big day’ because the government is implementing ‘the biggest tax cut in a decade’.

Flanked by a stony-faced Dominic Raab and new Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi, Mr Johnson fended off a series of attacks from Keir Starmer saying Europe was enduring the ‘biggest war in 80 years’ and he was getting on with the job.

The premier was visibly angry when Tory MP Tim Loughton stood up and demanded to know if there are ‘any circumstances’ under which he would quit.

He snapped that he had been given a ‘colossal mandate’ and would ‘hang on in there’ to ‘win another general election’, adding: ‘The job of a PM… is to keep going! And that’s what I’m going to do.’

It came as Mr Johnson faced down a battering at Prime Minister's Questions today as he desperately tries to cling on to power despite more ministers resigning and even loyalists turning against him

It came as Mr Johnson faced down a battering at Prime Minister’s Questions today as he desperately tries to cling on to power despite more ministers resigning and even loyalists turning against him

Mr Johnson was flanked by a stony-faced Dominic Raab and new Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi in the Commons today

Mr Johnson was flanked by a stony-faced Dominic Raab and new Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi in the Commons today

But prisons minister Victoria Atkins, City minister John Glen, schools minister Robin Walker, and children’s minister Will Quince all turned the screw by walking out just before the PMQs session.

WHO HAS QUIT BORIS’S GOVERNMENT? 

QUIT

Rishi Sunak (Chancellor)

Sajid Javid (Health Secretary)

Alex Chalk (Solicitor General)

Victoria Atkins (Prisons minister)

John Glen (City minister) 

Robin Walker (Schools minister)

Will Quince (Children’s minister)

Jo Churchill (DEFRA minister)

Nicola Richards (PPS)

Jonathan Gullis (PPS)

Saqib Bhatti (PPS)

Virginia Crosbie (PPS)

Theo Clarke (PPS)

Bim Afolami (PPS)

Laura Trott (PPS)

Felicity Buchan (PPS) 

Andrew Murrison (Trade Envoy) 

NOT QUITTING

Dominic Raab

Ben Wallace

Priti Patel

Liz Truss

Brandon Lewis

Michael Gove

Jacob Rees-Mogg

Therese Coffey

Nadine Dorries

Nadhim Zahawi

Michelle Donelan

ON WATCH

George Eustice

Penny Mordaunt 

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And even as he spoke Environment minister Jo Churchill was tweeting that she had quit.

Ms Atkins laid into the government’s ‘fracture values’, while Mr Glen said he had a ‘complete lack of confidence’ in the premier and Mr Walker slammed ‘mistakes and questions about integrity’.

Mr Zahawi was in the middle of an interview on the BBC’s flagship Today programme this morning when he was informed that Mr Quince had joined the exodus, slamming No10’s ‘inaccurate’ claims about the Chris Pincher allegations.

Asked whether it meant Mr Johnson is ‘over’, a sombre-looking Mr Zahawi responded: ‘I am deeply sorry to see colleagues leave government.’

More junior aides have also been voting with their feet as the challenge to the PM gathers pace. After running the gauntlet of PMQs at noon he will endure a three-hour grilling from the powerful Liaison Committee – including some of his fiercest critics.

MailOnline understand Mr Javid will make what could be a highly damaging resignation statement in the Commons this afternoon, although Mr Sunak is not planning to use the platform. It will raise fears in No10 he could try to emulate Geoffrey Howe’s parting shot in 1990 which helped topple Margaret Thatcher.

Mutinous Tories are urging the chair of the backbench 1922 committee, Sir Graham Brady, to step in and tell the premier his time is up. It meets this afternoon and they are vowing to change the party’s rules so he can be ousted if he tries to carry on.

Mr Quince tweeted: ‘With great sadness and regret, I have this morning tendered my resignation to the Prime Minister after I accepted and repeated assurances on Monday to the media which have now been found to be inaccurate.’

Senior backbenchers Robert Halfon and Chris Skidmore, as well as Red Wall MP Lee Anderson have also broken cover to say they have lost confidence in Mr Johnson.

But despite fears of massive damage to the Conservative brand Mr Johnson is showing no signs of conceding, apparently responding ‘f*** that’ when asked by aides about the possibility.

He told a meeting of Tory MPs last night that he wants to get on with cutting taxes, suggesting it had been Mr Sunak holding him back on the issue.

And the Mail+ revealed Mr Johnson has told friends people need to ‘stop bickering’.

‘I’m not going anywhere,’ he said. ‘I’m going to smash on and deliver for the people who gave us a massive mandate.’ 

Boris Johnson left Downing Street for the House of Commons today – later than usual as pressure mounts on him to quit 

Sajid Javid (pictured leaving home today) made a resignation statement in the Commons this afternoon - but Rishi Sunak is not set to use the platform to spell out his reasons

Sajid Javid (pictured leaving home today) made a resignation statement in the Commons this afternoon – but Rishi Sunak is not set to use the platform to spell out his reasons

Mr Zahawi – installed within hours of the resignations last night as the PM attempted to steady the ship – was sent out to broadcast studios to show support this morning.

He denied that he had threatened to quit in order to be handed the coveted No11 post, and asked if he wanted to take over from Mr Johnson he replied: ‘There is no vacancy.’

He told Sky News: ‘You don’t go into this job for an easy life, sometimes it’s easy to walk away, but it’s important to deliver for the country.’

The PM has been dubbed the ‘Greased Piglet’ for his ability to escape seemingly terminal political situations, but even former allies fear he might be cornered this time.

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