Boris Johnson faced comparisons with Neville Chamberlain as he was urged by a former Cabinet minister to quit.

The Prime Minister, a biographer of Winston Churchill, would have fully understood the implication of David Davis’ comments in the Commons – even if he insisted he did not know what the former minister was talking about.

Mr Davis quoted from a speech delivered in the Commons during the Norway Debate on the conduct of the Second World War, which ultimately led to Mr Chamberlain resigning as prime minister.

In his 1940 speech, Conservative Leo Amery quoted Oliver Cromwell as he urged Tory premier Mr Chamberlain to quit.

Mr Amery said: “This is what Cromwell said to the Long Parliament when he thought it was no longer fit to conduct the affairs of the nation: You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go. ”

Cabinet Meeting
The Rt Hon L.C.M.S Amery (Archive/PA)

Eighty-two years later, Mr Davis told the Prime Minister: “I expect my leaders to shoulder the responsibility for the actions they take.

“Yesterday he did the opposite of that.

“So, I will remind him of a quotation which may be familiar to his ear: Leopold Amery to Neville Chamberlain.

“You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing. In the name of God, go.”

The Prime Minister replied: “I must say to him, I don’t know what he is talking about.

“What I can tell him, I don’t know what quotation he is alluding to, what I can tell him is and I think have told this House repeatedly, I take full responsibility for everything done in this Government and throughout the pandemic.”