BORIS’ WIFE PERSUADED HIM THAT AT LAST GAME WAS UP
BORIS Johnson was persuaded to quit Downing Street by wife Carrie.
The couple had a momentous heart-to-heart after the PM had gathered aides around a takeaway curry at 8pm on Wednesday to rebuild his shattered Government.
Up till then he was still determined to cling to power, despite the resignations of Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Savid Javid whose damning letters opened up a floodgate of Tory quitting among ministers and MPs.
Cabinet ministers including Home Secretary Priti Patel, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, Business Secretary Kwarsi Kwarteng and Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis also all filed into No10 to persuade the PM his time was up.
An insider said: “That was a really tense meeting. Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries just sat there shooting daggers at everyone. There was only Michael Gove who put it to him that it was over and he had to go. He told him he had
until 9pm to make a decision.”
A Whitehall source said: “The PM had been angry all day. In a state of denial. He kept going on about his personal mandate like a broken record.”
But with his aides around him later, Mr Johnson was in bouyant mood. Close ally MP James Duddridge, told Sky News that night: “The Prime Minister will fight on. He has a 14 million mandate and so much to do for the country.” Another PM ally said: “If the party wants to overthrow the elected will of the people, they have to dip their hands in blood.” A boisterous Mr Johnson rounded the curry meeting off by ringing Levelling Up Secretary Mr Gove at 8.58pm – to sack him.
Then he went up to the flat he shares with Carrie and children Wilfred, two, and Romy, seven months. And there his bluster ran out of steam. An insider said: “Boris talked through his predicament with his wife. She has an astute political brain. She told him she thought the game was up, but they
She has a political brain. She told him the game might be up TORY INSIDER ON PM’S ADVICE FROM CARRIE
agreed to sleep on it.” It was the same advice Dennis Thatcher gave to wife Margaret more than 30 years before in similar circumstances.
Mr Johnson awoke early on Thursday and by 6.30am his mind was made up. He started work on his resignation speech.
In the next hours more ministers quit including Brandon Lewis and Education Secretary Michelle Donavan and as the total hit 59 Mr Johnson knew the game was indeed up.
But yesterday what one Tory insider called the Nightmare on Downing Street began to descend into farce. Mr Johnson’s ex-girlfriend
Petronella Wyatt tweeted that No10 sources had told her the PM was about to join the Tory leadership contest. No10 said: “Not true.” New Education Minister and former teacher Andrea Jenkyns defended giving the finger to crowds baying for blood outside Downing Street on Thursday.
She said: “I’m only human.” Then admitted she would not have tolerated that excuse from her pupils. And we can reveal Mr Johnson has taken double revenge on Michael Gove – the man he has resented for rubbishing his bid to replace David Cameron which forced him out of the race Theresa May won.
Now he’s made the sacked Housing Secretary homeless too.
Mr Gove’s dimissal means he loses a £25million grace and favour apartment in a building complete with ballroom, near Buckingham Palace, that was loaned to him by official resident Foreign Secretary Liz Truss after his marriage break-up last year.
A friend of Mr Gove confirmed to the Sunday Mirror: “Yes, he will now need to find somewhere else to live.”
As for Mr Johnson, if what his father Stanley, 81, told the Sunday Mirror comes true then brush-offs could become a way of life for him.
Stanley said: “I suspect he will go back to painting. He is a brilliant painter.
“And 10 years down the line I would like to see him have a retrospective at the Institute of Contemporary Arts.”