On Thursday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was offered a fresh blow when his brother Jo Johnson quit the government, said that he could no longer accept “family loyalty and national interest”.
He had campaigned strongly against Britain’s exit from the EU in 2016, which put him at an odd position with his older and more popular brother PM Johnson.
But he somehow managed to get a job in his brother’s government as Universities and Science Minister, a post he already held.
Jo Johnson tweets, “It’s been an honor to represent Orpington (a London suburb) for nine years & to serve as a minister under three prime ministers.”
His another post reads, “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.”
Like most families in Britain, Johnsons were deeply divided over Brexit Deal – a third sibling Rachel Johnson, and their father Stanley Johnson also desired to stay in the EU.
PM Johnson’s father has worked for the European Commission in the 1970s, then has served as a Conservative MEP, while Rachel was not succeeded for the European Parliament in Election 2019 for anti-Brexit Change UK Party.
Jo’s resignation, who is like his brother Boris is a former journalist, comes after 22 MPs have left the governing party.
One MP rebelled to the pro-European Liberal Democrats and 21 were removed for voting against the British Prime Minister’s Brexit Strategy.
Jo’s resignation comes the day after MPs voted to stop PM Johnson taking Britain out of the European Union without any divorce deal on October 31.
The opposition Labour party has seized on his departure.
Deputy leader Tom Watson tweets, “Once again, the people who trust Boris Johnson least are the ones who know him best.”
Pollster Joe Twyman’s Twitter post reads, “It’s going to be a hell of a Christmas lunch in the Johnson household.”
BBC journalist David Cornock quipped that “a rare case of a politician resigning to spend less time with his family.”