'This will not have been an easy matter for Jo': Boris Johnson responds to brother's resignation

'This will not have been an easy matter for Jo': Boris Johnson responds to brother's resignation

Latest: Boris Johnson has responded to his brother Jo's announcement this morning that he is quitting politics.

The British Prime Minister's brother said he had been “torn between family loyalty and the national interest”.

A Number 10 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.”

It is understood that Jo Johnson will stand down as an MP at the next election.

Following Jo Johnson’s resignation from her other brother’s Government, Rachel Johnson responded to claims her family’s arguments over Brexit were becoming increasingly intense.

“I’m afraid to say this is rubbish,” she tweeted in response to the Evening Standard’s Londoner diary column.

“I said last night at a charity do that the family avoids the topic of Brexit especially at meals as we don’t want to gang up on the PM!”

'Devastating from Jo Johnson': British PM’s brother resigns

Jo Johnson. Picture: File photo
Jo Johnson. Picture: File photo

Update 11:30am: The British Prime Minister’s brother Jo Johnson has announced he is quitting politics.

Boris Johnson’s brother said he had been “torn between family loyalty and the national interest”.

Jo Johnson, who had been a senior minister attending meetings of his brother’s Cabinet, said there was an “unresolvable tension”.

He announced on Twitter he was quitting his role as Universities Minister and would stand down as MP for Orpington.

Jo Johnson is pro-European and has previously called for a second referendum, a position that puts him at odds with the British Prime Minister, who has vowed to leave the EU on October 31 with or without a Brexit deal.

Reacting to the announcement by Jo Johnson, Labour MP Ian Murray described the decision as "devastating".

“Even Boris Johnson’s brother knows that he can’t be trusted to make decisions in the national interest. This is devastating from Jo Johnson.”

A number of other UK politicians have taken to social media to share their take on the shock resignation.

Labour deputy leader Tom Watson pondered whether some Conservative MPs might be regretting Theresa May's exit.

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage said that the "centre of gravity" within the party had shifted.

Former Tory MP David Gauke - one of 21 MPs to have the whip removed by the Conservative Party after rebelling against the party in the Commons this week - said that many other MPs had been wrestling with conflicting loyalties.

Labour MP Wes Streeting said that he respected Jo Johnson's integrity, decency and courtesy.

Conservative MP Andrea Leadsom wished Jo Johnson well for the future and praised his "expertise and knowledge".

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