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July 16, 2024
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UK PM Boris Johnson’s brother quits amid Brexit row in parliament

Jo Johnson, brother of Prime Minister Boris Johnson and a minister, on Thursday resigned from his role as well as a Conservative MP because he is “torn between family loyalty and the national interest”, suggesting that he is opposed to his older brother’s Brexit policy.

Like his better known brother, Johnson, 47, is also a former journalist: he was posted in New Delhi as the Financial Times bureau chief from 2005 to 2008. He was the minister of state for universities, science research and innovation.

Johnson tweeted: “It’s been an honour to represent Orpington for 9 years & to serve as a minister under three PMs. 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”.

Prime Minister Johnson faced a bruising Thursday morning as the British press went to town with the theme that he has been ‘cornered’ after being defeated in several voting rounds in the House of Commons on Wednesday, losing control of the parliamentary agenda with a minority in the House.

He, however, pressed on with his challenge to the opposition to support his motion to trigger a mid-term election on October 15. But Labour has strategically held out on the ground that it would support it only after the bill prohibiting a no-deal Brexit is passed and gets royal assent.

The bill has been passed by the House of Commons and is now in the House of Lords, where it is likely to make it through on Monday and sent to Buckingham Palace for royal assent. Meanwhile, courts are hearing challenges to Johnson’s prorogation of parliament.

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