Former Conservative Party leader Michael Howard has called for Boris Johnson to resign.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4′s World at One programme on Friday, Lord Howard said: “The party, and more importantly the country, would be better off under new leadership.”
His intervention comes after the Conservatives lost both the Wakefield and Tiverton and Honiton by-elections.
“Members of the Cabinet should very carefully consider their positions,” Howard said.
He added it “may be necessary” for the 1922 committee of backbench Tory MPs to change its rules to “so another leadership [election] could take place”.
Johnson recently won a no confidence vote in his leadership and under current party rules he can not be challenged again for a year.
The prime minister, speaking in Rwanda, has said he will “keep going” despite the double election loss.
“I think as a government I’ve got to listen to what people are saying – in particular to the difficulties people are facing over the cost of living, which I think for most people is the number one issue,” he said.
“We’ve got to recognise there is more we’ve got to do and we certainly will; we will keep going, addressing the concerns of people until we get through this patch.”
Conservative Party chairman Oliver Dowden quit early this morning, saying he and Tory supporters are “distressed and disappointed by recent events”. He told Johnson that “someone must take responsibility”.
But so far other members of the cabinet have remained loyal, including chancellor Rishi Sunak who tweeted he was “determined to continue working”.