Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick - currently at the centre of a planning controversy - could be sacked in a September Cabinet reshuffle.
The Guardian newspaper - quoting unnamed sources within the Cabinet itself - says Jenrick is one of three senior members likely to be sacked in a few months time.
The saga of Jenrick’s agreement to a controversial planning decision in East London, which he later accepted was an illegal decision and which was reversed, took additional turns over the weekend.
The Sunday Times and the Mail own Sunday ran stories giving additional details about the Conservative fund-raising dinner in late 2019 at which Jenrick met the developer of the £1 billion East London scheme, Richard Desmond.
Desmond is the former Express Newspaper boss who was also a major investor in Sarah Beeny's Tepilo online agency prior to its merger with the original Emoov online agency.
The weekend’s papers discovered that not only did Jenrick sit on the same table as Desmond at the fund-raising dinner, but he also watched a four minute promotional film about the development on Desmond’s telephone.
A few weeks later Jenrick approved the Desmond plan despite a planning inspector recommending against giving it permission. Only 21 per cent of the housing would have been regarded as affordable, significantly below the 35 per cent typically required. Shortly afterwards, Desmond made a £12,000 contribution to the Conservative party.
Then last month Jenrick admitted acting unlawfully in the planning decision, following legal action initiated by the local Tower Hamlets council.
Jenrick’s January decision was made just one day before the council adopted planning rule changes which would have meant that Desmond would have had to pay between £30m and £50m more to the council.
Jenrick denies any wrongdoing.