Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has added his name to a list of Conservative cabinet ministers urging the prime minister to drop the 1% pay cap on five million public sector workers in the UK.
Johnson reportedly thinks that the recommendations of independent pay review bodies, which look into salaries for NHS workers, teachers and others, should be followed, a government source has told reporters.
The former Mayor of London also apparently "strongly believes" that public sector wages can be increased in a "responsible way", the Press Association said.
The intervention comes after Number 10 admitted that the public were "weary" of the cap, which first came into force under the the Liberal Democrat and Conservative coalition government in 2012. The concession comes after the the Tories lost their majority in the House of Commons at the general election.
Michael Gove, the newly appointed environment secretary, publicly led the Tory campaign against the pay cap when he appeared on BBC One's Andrew Marr show on Sunday.
"I think that we should listen to the pay review bodies who govern each individual area of public sector pay," he said. Marr challenged Gove over his comments, pointing out that the government has enforced the pay cap since 2012.
"I was education secretary and I know that the school teachers pay review body is not the poodle you depict it as," Gove replied.
He added: "They also take account other questions as well, including the number of people entering the profession, whether we need to have an increase in pay in order to ensure that we get the very best people in the profession."
The remarks come just weeks after Gove's post-election promotion. The former journalist was sidelined by May following the 2016 Conservative leadership election, which saw Gove quit Johnson's campaign to make his own unsuccessful bid for Number 10. Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is also calling for a new pay deal for NHS staff.
Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has revealed that the number of registered nurses and midwives in the UK fell by 1,783 to 690,773 in the year to March, the first fall since the financial crisis of 2008. The figures will add to the pressure on the prime minister that the 1% public sector pay cap should be axed.