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Commons in crisis

Boris’s brother Jo Johnson quits as Tory MP over ‘family v country’

Torn: Jo Johnson (pic: own website)

Jo Johnson, brother of UK Prime Minister Boris, has resigned as a Tory MP and minister saying he is “torn between family and national interest”.

He said in a tweet that it had been “an honour to represent Orpington for nine years & to serve as a minister under three PMs”.

He was appointed Universities minister in July. He served in the Department for Business and as a minister at the Department for Transport in Theresa May’s government.

Jo Johnson resigned as a minister last year in protest at Theresa May’s Brexit deal. But he re-joined the government during the summer, after Conservative Party members elected his brother as leader.

Sources say he is “upset about the purge of colleagues” and that the brothers were “in very different places” on Brexit.

A Downing Street spokesman said: “The prime minister would like to thank Jo Johnson for his service. He has been a brilliant, talented minister and a fantastic MP.

“The PM, as both a politician and brother, understands this will not have been an easy matter for Jo. The constituents of Orpington could not have asked for a better representative.”

Labour to Lib Dem

As the political infighting continued, former Labour MP Luciana Berger joined the Liberal Democrats, saying the party is “unequivocal in wanting to stop Brexit”.

She said leader Jo Swinson had offered “a vital, positive alternative” to Labour and the Conservatives.

Ms Berger left Labour in protest at the handling of anti-Semitism allegations.

Along with six other MPs she formed Change UK, but left after disappointing results in the European elections earlier this year.

Ms Berger is the fourth MP in three months to join the Liberal Democrats who now have 16 MPs in Parliament.

…more follows

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