BORIS Johnson is expected to appoint his government within hours of taking over as Prime Minister.

His team has promised it will be a “Cabinet for Modern Britain” with an increase in the number of both female ministers and ethnic minority ministers.

The new Tory leader made his first appointment on Tuesday afternoon, making Mark Spencer his chief whip. With a working majority of just two, the role will be crucial in keeping his fledgling administration afloat.

That working majority only holds if all Tory MPs vote the same way, but already a number of his colleagues have made clear they will could make his life awkward if he insists on backing a no deal Brexit.

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Chancellor Philip Hammond – who has promised to will resign from his post as soon the former Mayor of London becomes Prime Minister – tweeted: “Congratulations @BorisJohnson! You have said very clearly that you are determined to do a deal with Brussels – and you will have my wholehearted support in doing so. Good luck!”

On Sunday, Hammond had told the BBC’s Andrew Marr: “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.”

Yesterday, there were three resignations within the space of two hours.

Education minister Anne Milton quit saying she had “grave concerns about leaving the EU without a deal”.

International Development Rory Stewart secretary also confirmed that he too was out.

In an enigmatic tweet, the former Tory leadership hopeful posted a picture of himself, eyes closed, his hand on the nose of a horse. He wrote: “Congratulations @BorisJohnson on becoming Leader. Honour to serve in turn as Minister of Environment @DefraGovUK, Mid East +Asia @DFID_UK, Africa @FCO, Prisons @MoJGovUK + then Development Secretary in Cabinet +NSC. Backbench tomorrow serving Cumbria. Thank you all. More walking!”

The National:

Justice Secretary David Gauke also resigned saying he was “looking forward to returning to backbenches tomorrow, serving people of South West Hertfordshire”.

Gauke, leader of the so-called Gaukeward squad, has previously said an administration hell-bent on pursuing a a no deal Brexit will be a disaster for the economy and will fuel support for a second independence referendum.

Details on who’s been offered what in Johnson’s cabinet remain scant, but there is an expectation that Home Secretary Sajid Javid could replace Hammond as Chancellor.

There is talk too of Jeremy Hunt being demoted from his current position as Foreign Secretary.

Priti Patel, who was forced out to quit as International Development Secretary in November 2017, after she lied to Theresa May about 14 unofficial meetings with Israeli ministers, businesspeople and a senior lobbyist, is expected to return to cabinet.

Employment minister Alok Sharma is likely to be promoted, while a number of Tory rising stars, including Rishi Sunak, Oliver Dowden, Tracey Crouch and Robert Jenrick, also set for new jobs.