Either Boris Johnson or Jeremy Hunt will become Tory leader and Prime Minister this week, with the former foreign secretary tipped to take the country forward. But, speaking on BBC’s The Andrew Marr Show on Sunday, Chancellor Philip Hammond announced he would resign if Mr Johnson won the Tory leadership election. Justice Secretary David Gauke also announced he will resign if Mr Johnson is given occupancy of Number 10.
Iain Duncan Smith claimed the two Cabinet ministers should have resigned already, as it is “part of the rules”.
The former Tory leader told LBC: “I thought he had resigned, after all he rebelled against his own Government as a Cabinet minister.
“If you do that, if you don’t vote for your Government, part of the rules of being in the Cabinet is that you resign. Or you’re sacked.
“Theresa May decided obviously that she will leave it to the next Prime Minister.
“But frankly I think it took them two or three days longer than it should’ve done.”
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Radio presenter Ian Payne asked: “Do you think that Boris Johnson, if indeed the next Prime Minister we’ll assume he is, will pick a solely Brexiteer Cabinet?
“And do you approve if he does?”
The former Work and Pensions Secretary replied: “No I’m sure he won’t. What he’ll do is he wants to get 100 days to deliver what is literally in law at the moment, which is that we leave by October 31.
“So he’s going to need people who believe and subscribe to that, and want to get it done.
“So it’s important for him to have people who subscribe to that view and will then do what is necessary to do it.
“And do not mess around, or quibble or end up saying ‘you know what at the end of the day, I don’t really back this’.”
On Thursday, the Chancellor was among one of four cabinet members who abstained in a critical vote over the prospect of suspending Parliament to force through a no deal Brexit – while 17 Tory MPs rebelled.
MPs backed the amendment to the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill which could block the suspension of Parliament between 9 October and 18 December unless a Northern Ireland executive is formed, making it more difficult for a future Prime Minister to suspend Parliament to force through a no deal.
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On Sunday, Mr Hammond became the second Cabinet minister to announce he will quit the Government if Mr Johnson becomes Prime Minister.
He said: “No, I’m sure I’m not going to be sacked because I’m going to resign before we get to that point.
“Assuming that Boris Johnson becomes the next prime minister, I understand that his conditions for serving in his government would include accepting a no-deal exit on the 31st October, and it’s not something that I could ever sign up to.
“It’s very important that the prime minister is able to have a chancellor who is closely aligned with him in terms of policy, and I, therefore, intend to resign to Theresa May before she goes to the Palace to tender her own resignation on Wednesday.”
It comes after Mr Gauke – a former Remainer – told the Sunday Times he would also quit on Wednesday if Mr Johnson enters Number 10.