Inside sources say Nadhim Zahawi will be out of the job before Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday morning.
According to HuffPost UK reports, the Tory chairman is unlikely to survive the next 24 hours after it emerged he paid HMRC millions of pounds over an unpaid tax bill from when he was chancellor last year.
It comes amid a bruising week for prime minister Rishi Sunak, who has not only had to handle his own run-in with the police but also had to handle allegations that BBC chairman Richard Sharp reportedly helped his predecessor-but-one Boris Johnson secure a loan of up to £800,000.
The Zahawi tax saga seems to have taken precedence, with Caroline Noakes becoming the first Tory MP to break ranks and publicly call for him to go.
She told Talk TV: “The challenge for Nadhim is – look at the front pages, he’s leading too many of them. When you become the story it’s a distraction from anything else that the government is trying to do.
“There are countless examples of good, competent cabinet colleagues who’ve got themselves in a mess, who have resigned quickly and come back, really in some instances just a few months later.
“In order to get this cleared up Nadhim should stand aside and let the investigation run its course.”
But a growing number of people on the party payroll are joining in the calls.
One former minister told HuffPost UK: “Nadhim is genuinely a nice guy and good minister and has many friends in the parliamentary party
“But if he survives today, he won’t make it to PMQs tomorrow.
“Why would Rishi want to go through a PMQs dominated by that?”
Another MP said the party chairman was “toast” and would be gone sooner rather than later.