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PM's brother Jo Johnson stands down as Orpington MP amid Brexit chaos

PUBLISHED: 11:59 05 September 2019 | UPDATED: 11:59 05 September 2019

Jo Johnson has quit Boris Johnson's government and is stepping down as an MP. Picture: Jo Johnson

Jo Johnson has quit Boris Johnson's government and is stepping down as an MP. Picture: Jo Johnson

Archant

Jo Johnson, the brother of the embattled prime minister, is quitting as the Conservative MP for Orpington.

It is understood Mr Johnson felt he was in a difficult position as the Brexit debate continues to spiral out of control.

The universities minister also resigned from the cabinet.

The announcement this morning comes soon after Mr Johnson was asked to clarify his position on a no-deal Brexit, and simply announced he was going to quit.

Writing on Twitter he said: "It's been an honour to represent Orpington for 9 years & to serve as a minister under three PMs. In recent weeks I've been torn between family loyalty and the national interest - it's an unresolvable tension and time for others to take on my roles as MP & Minister."

Jack Grove, the deputy features editor of Times Higher Education, also took to Twitter to say: "This is quite some response to our story on Tuesday in which v-cs asked universities minister @JoJohnsonUK to clarify his position on a no-deal Brexit. He's just said he will quit as both an MP & minister."

Andrea Leadsom, who battled to become PM when Theresa May took the job, said in a Tweet: "It has been a pleasure to work with @JoJohnsonUK , both in Parliament for nine years and most recently as a Minister at BEIS (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy); his expertise and knowledge of the area were a huge asset to the department. I wish him all the best."

No one was available at Mr Johnson's constituency office in Sevenoaks Road, Orpington.

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