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Orpington MP welcomes election of brother Boris as prime minister

PUBLISHED: 14:54 23 July 2019 | UPDATED: 14:54 23 July 2019

Jo Johnson is delighted his brother Boris has been chosen as the leader of the Conservative Party. Picture: PA

Jo Johnson is delighted his brother Boris has been chosen as the leader of the Conservative Party. Picture: PA

PA Archive/PA Images

The brother of the UK’s next prime minister has said he is delighted about his election as leader.

Jo Johnson, Orpington MP and brother of new Conservative leader Boris Johnson, told the LDR service this afternoon we are living through a "crucial moment" in the country's history.

Jo, who has represented Orpington as MP since 2010, resigned from the government last year over Brexit.

He served as minister of state for transport for 11 months before resigning over Theresa May's proposed deal.

Amid speculation over whether Jo might return to government, he has responded to his brother's success.

"I'm delighted by Boris' election as leader of the Conservative Party with such a strong mandate from party members," Jo said.

"This is a crucial moment in our country's history. He will provide the leadership and purpose we need and will, of course, have my full support."

When Jo resigned under Mrs May, he talked of disillusionment with the government's Brexit strategy and called for a fresh vote with an option to remain.

Jo argued that Britain was "on the brink of the greatest crisis" since the Second World War and claimed that what was on offer was not "anything like what was promised".

When he resigned last year he said: "My constituents in Orpington deserve better than this from their government.

"A majority of Orpington voters chose to leave the EU in 2016 and many of the close friends I have there, among them hard-working local Conservative Party members, are passionately pro-Brexit.

"I respect their position. But I know from meetings I have had with local members that many are as dismayed as me by the course of negotiations and about the actual choice now on offer.

"Two and a half years on, the practical Brexit options are now clear and the public should be asked to choose between the different paths facing our country: we will all have different positions on that choice, but I think many in my local party, in the Orpington constituency and around the country would welcome having the last word on the government's Brexit proposals."

Boris moves into Number 10 off the back of a campaign based on a "do or die" attitude towards Brexit, indicating he will leave with no deal on Halloween if an arrangement has not been made.

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