Boris Johnson runs into a range of criticisms from Conservative MPs
The foreign secretary was spotted on an early-morning jog with the editor of The Sun, Tony Gallagher.
Many Conservative MPs now believe that Boris Johnson is guilty of repeated attempts to undermine Theresa May. There is also a growing sense in Manchester that the foreign secretary wants the prime minister to sack him.
But hostile Tory MPs remain divided over how fiercely to express their disapproval of the foreign secretary’s antics.
Appearing on Good Morning Britain this morning, Philip Hammond gently reminded his colleague: "We all serve at the prime minister's pleasure and we all owe the prime minister our allegiance and our loyalty within the cabinet."
The chancellor added: "I've always operated on the principle that it's probably best to believe that nobody is unsackable - everybody's got to pull their weight within the government."
Work and pensions secretary David Gauke spoke in similar code when he told a fringe yesterday: "We all serve at the pleasure of the prime minister."
Another cabinet minister opted for a more caustic approach while on the fringe circuit. Appearing on a panel of Scottish Conservative MPs discussing how the party could better connect with young voters, Scottish secretary David Mundell was asked whether Johnson could be the answer.
He replied by referring to an old election race in which the foreign secretary finished a distant third: "I do recall that Boris Johnson once stood as rector of Edinburgh University. You can look at the results of that."
Former education secretary Nicky Morgan went in more robustly, telling the BBC’s Westminster Hour that Johnson needed to get his act together quickly. "Boris has got basically I suspect a matter of days in which to show, he's giving his speech on Tuesday I think, that he gets the message and that actually he's going to accept ministerial collective responsibility," she said.
John Howell, MP for Johnson’s old constituency of Henley-on-Thames, also put the boot in with some force. He declared that "many constituents would never vote Tory again if he became leader".
But perhaps the most damning public verdict delivered in the first 48 hours of Tory conference came from former business minister Anna Soubry. She told Channel 4 News: "He consistently undermines what the prime minister says… He’s a trouble maker and it’s all about Boris. People are fed up with it."
Picture by: Peter Byrne/PA Wire/PA Images