British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was dealt a fresh blow on Thursday when his brother Jo announced his resignation from the government and from parliament.
“In recent weeks I’ve been torn between family loyalty and the national interest — it’s an unresolvable tension & time for others to take on my roles as MP & Minister,” Jo Johnson tweeted.
Jo Johnson was appointed as Minister of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, shortly after his brother assumed office.
Recall that a request by Boris Johnson to suspend UK Parliament from mid-September was approved by Queen Elizabeth.
The audacious gambit wrong-footed the Prime Minister’s opponents by shortening the time available to lawmakers to block a no-deal Brexit.
The news was met with fury by opposition politicians, and even some members of Johnson’s own party, who denounced it as potentially unconstitutional and undemocratic.
The suspension was however challenged in court by Gina Miller, a businesswoman and leading anti-Brexit campaigner, who said she had applied for an urgent judicial review challenging “the effect and the intention” of the suspension.
Also, Boris Johnson lost his working parliamentary majority ahead of a crucial Brexit vote on after Conservative MP Phillip Lee defected to the pro-EU Liberal Democrats.
“The Liberal Democrats are delighted to announce that Bracknell MP Phillip Lee has joined the party,” the Lib Dems said in a statement.
Members of Johnson’s own Tory party, including Lee worked with opposition lawmakers to draft a bill to force him to delay Brexit if he cannot agree divorce terms with the EU in time.
But Johnson warned that he will prevent any Tory MPs who support the bill from standing for the party in any upcoming election.