Theresa May has warned hardline Brexiters to fall into line or risk handing power to Jeremy Corbyn after Boris Johnson became the second cabinet minister to resign in 24 hours, claiming Britain was “headed for the status of colony”.
After a dramatic day of twists and turns in Westminster, the prime minister addressed Conservative MPs for an hour, issuing a stark warning that divided parties lose elections and telling her party that “to lead is to decide”.
She then returned to Downing Street to fill the gaps left on the government benches by several resignations, sparked by the Brexit secretary, David Davis, who stepped down late on Sunday night.
“If we don’t pull together, we risk the election of Jeremy Corbyn as prime minister,” one cabinet minister said, summarising what was said at the meeting. “At least half a dozen people made that point and the prime minister responded, too – what is good for the country is a Conservative government.”
Johnson had been due to host a summit about the western Balkans on Monday afternoon but was instead holed up in his official residence with close advisers, considering his position.