In new blow, Cabinet minister quits Boris Johnson government

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson visits Darnford Farm in Banchory near Aberdeen, Scotland, Friday Sept. 6, 2019, to coincide with the publication of Lord Bew's review and an announcement of extra funding for Scottish farmers. (Andrew Milligan/PA via AP)
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson visits Darnford Farm in Banchory near Aberdeen, Scotland, Friday Sept. 6, 2019, to coincide with the publication of Lord Bew's review and an announcement of extra funding for Scottish farmers. (Andrew Milligan/PA via AP)

LONDON — Embattled British Prime Minister Boris Johnson suffered a new blow Saturday when a Cabinet minister resigned, saying she did not believe Johnson was sincere about getting a Brexit deal with the European Union.

Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd said in a letter to the prime minister that she was resigning because "I no longer believe leaving with a deal is the government's main objective."

Rudd also slammed Johnson's expulsion of Conservative lawmakers who oppose his Brexit plans, calling it "an assault on decency and democracy."

This week Johnson kicked 21 lawmakers out of the Conservative group in Parliament after they sided with the opposition to pass a law designed to prevent Britain from leaving the European Union next month without a divorce deal.

Those expelled included the longest-serving Conservative in Parliament, Ken Clarke, and Nicholas Soames, grandson of World War II Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

"This short-sighted culling of my colleagues has stripped the party of broad-minded and dedicated Conservative MPs. I cannot support this act of political vandalism," wrote Rudd, who said she is also quitting the Conservative group and will sit as an independent.

Johnson says Britain must leave the EU as scheduled Oct. 31 even if there is no divorce agreement with the bloc. But his plan is meeting fierce resistance, including from some members of his own party.

This week the prime minister's younger brother, Jo Johnson, also quit the government over Brexit, saying he had been "torn between family loyalty and the national interest."

Johnson is seeking a snap election on Oct. 15 as a way to break the deadlock over Brexit, but lawmakers last week rejected his call for an early poll.

He is due to try again Monday, but opposition parties say they will veto that attempt, too. They want to postpone an election until Britain has secured a delay to the Oct. 31 Brexit deadline, removing the risk the U.K. could crash out without a deal.

Most economists say a no-deal Brexit would severely disrupt trade with the EU and plunge the U.K. into recession.

Johnson said this week he would rather be "dead in a ditch" than seek a postponement, leaving government and Parliament at odds — with no obvious solution.

___

Follow AP's full coverage of Brexit and British politics at: https://www.apnews.com/Brexit

People also read these

US tycoon's China scholarship project opens doors...

Sep 10, 2016

A new scholarship program intended to rival the prestigious Rhodes Scholarships and build...

Asian stocks rise after Wall Street gains

Dec 21, 2016

Asian stocks are higher after U.S. stocks rose to record levels despite attacks in Germany and...

China starts 2017 engulfed by smog, issues...

Jan 2, 2017

Beijing and other cities across northern and central China are shrouded in thick smog, prompting...

Choked by smog, Beijing creates new environmental...

Jan 8, 2017

Officials in Beijing have announced a new environmental police squad to root out illegal burning in...

McDonald's sells China business in deal worth up...

Jan 9, 2017

Fast-food giant McDonald's is selling a controlling stake in its China business to a group of...

About Us

Frontal Report is an emerging leader in all forms of media. We aim to be the leading news brand for readers around the world.

Contact us: sales[at]frontalreport.com

Subscribe Now!