Norfolk MP calls for 'caretaker' prime minister and apology to the Queen

George Freeman, Conservative MP for Mid Norfolk

George Freeman, Conservative MP for Mid Norfolk - Credit: Richard Townshend Photography

A Norfolk MP has said prime minister Boris Johnson should apologise to the Queen and advise her to replace him with a caretaker prime minister straight away.

Mr Johnson is quitting as Tory leader, after ministers and MPs made clear his position was untenable - but is likely to remain in his role until October.

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He will remain as prime minister until a successor is in place, expected to be by the time of the Conservative Party conference in the autumn.

A No 10 source said Mr Johnson spoke to Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the Conservative 1922 Committee, to inform him of his decision.

“The prime minister has spoken to Graham Brady and agreed to stand down in time for a new leader to be in place by the conference in October,” a No 10 source said.

But Mid Norfolk MP George Freeman, who resigned as science minister today amid what he dubbed a "constitutional crisis", said Mr Johnson should be removed before October.

He tweeted: "Boris Johnson needs to hand in the seals of office, apologise to Her Majesty and advise her call for a caretaker prime minister.

"To take over today so that ministers can get back to work and we can choose a new Conservative leader to try and repair the damage and rebuild trust."

However, fellow Conservative MP David Davis urged fellow MPs and former government ministers to be cautious about seeking to quickly replace Boris Johnson as prime minister or to try block him from performing a caretaker role until a new Conservative leader is chosen.

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The former cabinet minister told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “My concern is not for Boris or even Boris’ views.

“My concern is to pick the most straightforward way through this change we have to do and every way we pick has got problems, but the one of waiting until you have got a new leader provides the least problems.”