UK prime minister Boris Johnson's brother, Jo Johnson, has announced he will resign as cabinet minister and MP after stating he was "torn between family loyalty and the national interest".
Jo Johnson voted to remain in the European Union during the 2016 EU referendum, whilst Boris Johnson joined the Leave campaign. His resignation is the second in his career after quitting as Transport Minister in protest over former UK prime minister Theresa May's Brexit agreement with Brussels last year.
Mr Johnson said that it had been an "honour" to represent his constitutency of Orpington for nine years and as minister under three Prime Ministers, adding that it had been an "unresolvable tension" and that it was "time for others to take on my roles" as an MP and minister.
— Jo Johnson (@JoJohnsonUK) September 5, 2019
Other MPs reacted to the shocking news, with Thersa Griffin MEP tweeting that it was the first example of a politician "stepping down to spend less time with family". Labour MP for Hackney, Diane Abbott, look the chance to launch fresh attacks on PM Johnson's reputation.
— Theresa Griffin MEP (@TheresaMEP) September 5, 2019
— Diane Abbott (@HackneyAbbott) September 5, 2019
But TalkRADIO Breakfast show producer, Julia Hartley-Brewer, slammed Boris' younger brother for not delivering on the "same Tory manifesto that promised to deliver Brexit" and "stated that No Deal was better than a bad deal".
She added: "Boris is simply delivering that manifesto pledge. So did Jo Johnon lie to his voters in 2017?"
— Julia Hartley-Brewer (@JuliaHB1) September 5, 2019
Former Justice secretary David Gauke, who was removed as a Tory MP after backing the opposition bill against a no-deal Brexit, tweeted that lots of MPs "had to wrestle with conflicting loyalties in recent weeks".
Mr Gauke said: "None more so than Jo. None more so than Jo. This is a big loss to Parliament, the government and the Conservative Party."
The news comes as the British Prime minister failed to secure a majority to approve triggering snap elections, where MPs voting 298 to 56 for and against, respectively, falling short of the 434 lawmakers required to vote for the early ballot.
Commons had earlier adopted a bill to push back Brexit after 31 October if a deal could not be struck with Brussels, which is being voted on by the House of Lords on Thursday.
Boris Johnson slammed Labour's decision to abstain from supporting a general election, which Labour and opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn refused to back until after opposition parties had passed their fresh Brexit delay bill. The UK Prime Minister said that there must be election on 15 October following a heated Prime Minister's Questions' session on Wednesday. Boris Johnson has vowed to have the United Kingdom leave the EU by the 31 October deadline with or without a deal, but is struggling after losing his parliamentary majority amid uncertainty over whether the UK will be able to renegotiate with Brussels.