Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Brandon Lewis has resigned from the UK government, piling further pressure on embattled British prime minister Boris Johnson.
In a letter to Mr Johnson which he shared on Twitter, Mr Lewis said: "A decision to leave Government is never taken lightly, particularly at such a critical time for Northern Ireland."
He went on to say Mr Johnson has "achieved much" in his time as prime minister.
Mr Lewis concluded: "A decent and responsible Government relies on honesty, integrity and mutual respect - it is a matter of profound personal regret for me that I must leave Government as I no longer believe those values are being upheld."
A decent and responsible Government relies on honesty, integrity and mutual respect - it is a matter of profound personal regret that I must leave Government as I no longer believe those values are being upheld.
I have submitted my letter of resignation to the Prime Minister. pic.twitter.com/EG6u52BdDc
— Brandon Lewis (@BrandonLewis) July 7, 2022
According to reports in the UK media, Mr Lewis went to Downing Street last night where he urged Mr Johnson to step down amid the wave of resignations from his government.
He was one of a number of cabinet ministers to tell Mr Johnson to listen to the message from the Conservative Party that it is time for him to end his leadership.
Last night, Mr Johnson dramatically sacked cabinet rival Michael Gove and rejected calls to quit as support for his leadership collapsed at Westminster.
Mr Lewis has been Northern Ireland secretary since 2020.
Helen Whately, MP for Faversham and Mid Kent and Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, also announced her resignation on Thursday Morning.
With sincere regret I am resigning from Government pic.twitter.com/HpQ2rgkr4q
— Helen Whately (@Helen_Whately) July 7, 2022
Despite the raft of resignations, Mr Johnson is determined to stay on as prime minister.
His defiance will be tested as MPs continue to resign.