Boris Johnson's own brother dramatically quits as an MP and government minister, accusing him of trashing the national interest

  • Jo Johnson, the younger brother of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, on Thursday resigned his post as a minister and stepped down as a member of parliament (MP).
  • In a tweet announcing his resignation, Johnson said he was "torn between family loyalty and the national interest."
  • Jo Johnson is a staunch supporter of remaining in the European Union and backs holding a second Brexit referendum.
  • His resignation comes as discontent grows in the Conservative Party after Boris Johnson expelled more than 20 MPs after they voted to delay Brexit.

Jo Johnson, the younger brother of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, has dramatically resigned as a Conservative Party minister and member of parliament, saying he is "torn between family loyalty and the national interest" in a tweet Thursday.

Johnson, unlike his brother, supports remaining in the European Union and has called repeatedly for a second Brexit referendum and was reportedly unhappy about Johnson's decision to expel 21 Conservative MPs from the party.

He was the MP for the Orpington constituency on the outskirts of London, and Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation.

Jo Johnson's resignation comes after his brother was thwarted in a bid to call an early election in October, just weeks before the UK is set to leave the European Union.

MPs have yet to approve a Brexit deal, and unless they are able to do so before October 31, the UK will drop out of the EU with no deal.

Discontent in the Conservative Party has grown in recent days after Boris decided to expel 21 senior MPs from the party after they backed a bill that would see Brexit delayed until 2020.

Read more:What happens now MPs have voted to delay Brexit until 2020?

The ousted MPs, who included two former chancellors and Winston Churchill's grandson, are popular figures in the party and Boris has reportedly been challenged by leading members of his cabinet to repeal their expulsion.

Jo had previously resigned from his position as a minister in the cabinet of his brother's predecessor Theresa May, where he served as a transport minister.

He had also opposed May's approach to Brexit, which he said at the time that the UK was "barrelling towards an incoherent Brexit."

 

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