The business secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, has reportedly told Conservative Party officials that the prime minister should step down.
Mr Kwarteng is due to decide on the future of fracking after the submission yesterday of a scientific review by the British Geological Survey.
Media reports say Mr Kwarteng has told the chief whip that he has lost confidence in Boris Johnson.
Mr Kwartang had been due to represent the government in media interviews tomorrow morning but has reportedly cancelled. He is said to be out of London this afternoon.
Mr Kwarteng had just been appointed energy minister when Cuadrilla’s fracking operations in August 2019 caused earthquakes. These included the UK’s largest fracking-induced seismic event, measuring 2.9ML.
This afternoon, a group of senior ministers, including the new chancellor, Nadhim Zahawi, are said to be preparing to urge Boris Johnson to resign. But the prime minister has told the Commons Liaison Committee it would not be responsible for him to go.
Earlier today, the industry minister, Lee Rowley, who opposed shale gas development in his North East Derbyshire constituency, resigned from the government.
Mr Rowley urged the prime minister to step aside for the “good of the party and the country”.
The MP has held the seat since 2017, defeating Labour’s Natascha Engel, a fracking supporter.
Mr Rowley announced his resignation on Twitter and signed a joint letter with four other junior ministers.
With great regret and sadness, I resigned as Minister for Industry this morning. pic.twitter.com/PYXiLQheQt— Lee Rowley (@Lee4NED) July 6, 2022
Updated 7 July 2022
Boris Johnson announced at about 9.14am on 7 July 2022 that he would resign as prime minister.
Mr Kwarteng tweeted about an hour lager:
What a depressing state of affairs. So much needless damage caused.— Kwasi Kwarteng (@KwasiKwarteng) July 7, 2022
We now need a new Leader as soon as practicable. Someone who can rebuild trust, heal the country, and set out a new, sensible and consistent economic approach to help families (1/2)