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Boris Johnson's New Trouble: His Brother Just Quit

Jo Johnson resigns as MP over Brexit mess
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 5, 2019 9:00 AM CDT
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In this Sept. 4 photo, Conservative Party lawmaker Jo Johnson arrives at Downing Street in London.   (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali, File)
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(Newser) – The intense political fight underway in Britain just took a personal turn for Prime Minister Boris Johnson—his brother quit. Jo Johnson said Thursday he's stepping down as a member of Parliament and as a minister in his older brother's government because of the Brexit turmoil, reports the BBC. "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," he tweeted. Jo Johnson was first elected in 2010, and he voted for the UK to remain in the European Union in the 2016 referendum, while his brother led the push to leave, notes Business Insider.

Boris Johnson appointed his brother as minister for universities, science, research, and innovation in July. But Jo Johnson reportedly disagreed with his brother's decision this week to oust nearly two dozen MPs from the Conservative Party because they disagreed with the prime minister's aggressive Brexit strategy. A representative of the prime minister thanked Jo Johnson for his service and called him a "brilliant, talented minister." Critics, however, pounced. "Boris Johnson poses such a threat that even his own brother doesn't trust him," said Angela Rayner of the Labour Party. Meanwhile, Parliament continues to work on a law that would defy Boris Johnson and force a delay in the Oct. 31 Brexit deadline, per the AP. (Read more Boris Johnson stories.)

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