Labour Party wants 'direct action' to get Boris out of No10, says Angela Rayner

8 July 2022, 08:45 | Updated: 8 July 2022, 10:11

By Asher McShane

Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner has said the Labour Party is planning 'direct action' to get Boris Johnson out of No10.

Ms Rayner told Tom Swarbrick at Breakfast on LBC this morning that she doesn't believe it’s in the country's best interests for Boris Johnson to keep ‘squatting’ in No10.

She said he was ‘toasted’ in local by-elections and "needs to read the room, read what the country’s mood is."

"He has stuck two proverbial fingers up at the country," she said.

"I want a general election as quickly as possible. This isn’t just about Boris Johnson any more."

Read more: Govt 'paralysed' as Boris vows to remain in No10 until new PM chosen

Read more: 'Hounds of hell unleashed' as 'bloodbath' Tory leadership race begins

James Cleverly, who was appointed as Education Secretary less than 24-hours ago, has dismissed calls for a 'caretaker' Prime Minister to step into the roll while a new Tory leader is elected.

He said it was "not in our constitution" and said any replacement would do the same as Boris Johnson has promised, and not make decisions.

LBC's Tom Swarbrick questioned Mr Cleverly at Breakfast asking: "Why can't the new leadership happen more quickly?"

To which the Education Secretary said: "It is absolutely right that we go through a process there is no such thing in our constitution as a caretaker government or a caretaker Prime Minister.

"So the Prime Minister has said he will stand down when a replacement is found."

Tom pressed further asking: "Lots of your colleagues believe that Boris Johnson should stand down as Prime Minister today in order for a functioning government take place, do you agree?"

Would-be contenders to claim the Tory crown are assessing whether they have the support to mount leadership bids following the dramatic resignation of Boris Johnson.

With no clear frontrunner, around a dozen potential candidates - including backbenchers as well as ministers - are thought to be weighing a challenge.

Meanwhile there is growing pressure from senior Conservatives for Mr Johnson to immediately step down as Prime Minister and not wait for the election of a new leader.

Following the tumultuous events in Westminster, some MPs fear a summer of "chaos" if Mr Johnson remains in No 10 while the leadership contest - which could run for weeks or even months - plays out.

Former prime minister Sir John Major was among those backing calls for Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab to be installed as a caretaker premier until a permanent successor is in place.

Alternatively he suggested a foreshortened leadership contest with Tory MPs electing the new leader who would then take office while party members in the country would be asked to endorse their choice.

At a meeting of the Cabinet on Thursday, Mr Johnson sought to reassure ministers he would not seek to implement any new policies in his remaining time in office and would leave any major tax and spending decisions to the next prime minister.

But after he made clear his frustration at the way he had been forced out by an unprecedented wave of ministerial resignations, many in the party remain deeply suspicious of his intentions.

In his resignation speech on the steps of No 10, Mr Johnson offered no contrition for the scandals of "partygate" and the appointment of Chris Pincher as deputy chief whip.

Instead he angered many MPs by complaining of the "eccentric" move to oust him, accusing his tormentors of succumbing to a "herd mentality".