THERESA May is only just clinging on to power, after Boris Johnson and David Davis walked out of her government, accusing the Prime Minister of having “suffocated” Brexit.

There's been high drama at

Westminster that saw May lose three members of her government in total.

She was also forced to say she was prepared to fight a leadership

election if challenged.

Johnson, in his resignation letter, said the Prime Minister’s plan, supposedly agreed by Cabinet last week in Chequers, would leave the UK as a “colony” of the European Union.

Johnson said that under May, the UK was “heading for a semi-Brexit”. He wrote: “Brexit should be about opportunity and hope. It should be a chance to do things differently. To be more nimble and dynamic and to maximise the particular advantages of the UK as an open, outward-looking, global economy. That dream is dying, suffocated by needless self-doubt.”

Johnson was replaced by Jeremy Hunt, with former culture secretary Matt Hancock taking over at health. Attorney General Jeremy Wright is the new Culture Secretary.

Johnson’s letter went on to say government “must have collective responsibility” but since he could not “in all conscience champion these proposals, I have sadly concluded that I must go”. Johnson had planned on announcing his resignation first, but Downing Street published details minutes before May was due in the House of Commons. He then released his resignation letter, breaking the usual convention that Number 10 releases a minister’s and the prime minister’s response at the same time.

That convention had been in place 15 hours earlier when Davis, the Brexit secretary, and Steve Baker, the junior minister at the Department for Exiting the EU, left government.

All three shared an unhappiness at the Prime Minister’s proposal that the UK keep a “common rule book” on standards for food and goods in return for achieving greater divergence on services and digital regulation However, other prominent Brexiteers, including Michael Gove, remained

in place.

There had been mounting speculation that Johnson was about to go. He was missed a meeting of the Government’s Cobra emergencies committee to discuss the latest Novichok poisonings. He was also due to host ministers from across Europe who had attended a Western Balkans summit which the UK had supposedly lobbied hard to have take place here.

Whoever replaces Johnson has a busy week ahead. There is a Nato summit in Brussels tomorrow, with the coalition is fighting for its very existence, and then there is US President Donald Trump’s visit to the UK, which begins on Thursday.

In the Commons, the Prime Minister was greeted by loud cheers from some Tory MPs and shouts of “resign” from the opposition.

Eurosceptic Tory backbencher Peter Bone told May his local party activists felt “betrayed” by the Prime Minister. “For the first time in more than 10 years, that group refused to go out to campaign,” he said.

May said she was sorry that activists “did not feel able to go out and campaign” She added: “I would hope that they would campaign for their excellent member of Parliament and be willing to support him on the doorsteps. This is not a betrayal. We will end free movement. We will end the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice. We will stop sending vast sums of money to the European

Union every year.”

Most other Tory speakers during the session seemed supportive of their boss. For there to be a leadership election, at least 48 Tory MPs would need to write to the chairman of the backbench 1922 Committee, Sir Graham Brady. At the time of going to press, it looked like Brady had not received enough letters to trigger a no-confid-

ence vote.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said May should make way for a Labour administration if her Government cannot get its act together quickly. The Chequers agreement on Brexit “stands as a shattered truce, a sticking plaster over the Cabinet’s cracks in this Government”, Corbyn told the Commons. The future of jobs and investment are now at stake. They, those jobs and that investment, are not a sub-plot in the Tory Party civil war.”

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford pointed out seven of May’s ministers had resigned in the last year: “The absolute crisis that has engulfed the Conservative Party over the past 17 hours is a national embarrassment.”

Two junior ministers also quit over Brexit yesterday, Conor Burns at the Foreign Office and Chris Green at the Department of Transport.