Boris Johnson has faced further battles and calls for resignation as more government officials stepped down from their roles.

The Prime Minister has also more recently faced a leadership challenge from former ally Suella Braverman as he rejects calls to quit.

On Wednesday evening, Johnson sacked Michael Gove and was later hit with the departure of a third Cabinet minister, Simon Hart as he also faced demands from the Attorney General to quit.

Michael Gove sacked by Johnson

Johnson met ministers in No 10 on Wednesday, where he was told he had lost the confidence of the Tory party and should not continue in office – but refused to listen.

Gove was thought to have told the Prime Minister on Wednesday morning that it was time for him to quit.

This was followed by a delegation of Cabinet ministers going to No 10 to tell Johnson he should stand down after losing the trust of his MPs.

No 10 sources confirmed Gove had been sacked, with one telling the BBC: “You cannot have a snake who is not with you on any of the big arguments who then gleefully briefs the press that he has called for the leader to go.

“You cannot operate like that.”

Home Secretary Priti Patel, Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis and Welsh Secretary Mr Hart were also among the Cabinet ministers telling the PM to stand down.

Braverman later joined the calls for the Prime Minister to quit as she launched a bid to replace him.

Attorney General joins leadership race

The Attorney General, previously a Johnson loyalist, told Peston on ITV that he had handled matters “appallingly” in recent days and that “the balance has tipped now in favour of saying that the Prime Minister – it pains me to say it – but it’s time to go”.

Braverman said it was her “duty” to continue in her current role but confirmed: “If there is a leadership contest, I will put my name into the ring.”

The Attorney General, who acknowledged she may be sacked by Johnson, is due to face MPs in the Commons on Thursday morning.

Hart quit on Wednesday night, following in the footsteps of former Cabinet colleagues Rishi Sunak and Sajid Javid – who departed a day earlier.

In his resignation letter, Hart said that he wanted to help Mr Johnson “turn the ship around”, but “we have passed the point where this is possible”.

Health minister Ed Argar, another former supporter of Johnson, also quit, saying: “I fear that a change is needed.”

According to the Press Association News Agency, Patel earlier spoke to the Prime Minister to convey the “overwhelming view” of the parliamentary party.

Nadhim Zahawi, who was only appointed Chancellor on Tuesday, was also thought to be among those telling Johnson to resign.

However, he rejected suggestions he should seek a “more dignified exit” and will instead fight for his political future.

A No 10 source said: “The Prime Minister has a mandate from 14 million people to get a job done. He’s very conscious of his commitment to them

“If the party wants to stop him they have to take that mandate away.”

1922 Committee rules could be changed

Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the Tory 1922 Committee, spoke to Johnson on Wednesday to set out the level of backbench opposition.

A new executive for the committee will be elected on Monday which could change the leadership rules, allowing for another confidence vote just a month after the last one – which Johnson may lose given the way MPs have deserted him since Tuesday.

But a No 10 source said: “He has called Graham Brady’s bluff. All Graham could say is that there will be an election on Monday.

“A new 1922 committee on Tuesday could change the rules – but it’s not a given.

“The party could then demand a re-run of the no-confidence vote – but not a given.

“And the party could then decide to ditch the PM – but not a given.”

The source warned that “the choice is not Boris or no Boris.

“The choice is a Conservative government with a new Chancellor who will soon outline a new economic programme of tax cuts, deregulation and the benefits of Brexit, or three months of tearing each other apart to elect a leader with no mandate.”