Minister quits Boris Johnson's government

Senior British minister Amber Rudd has sensationally quit the cabinet and the Conservative Party in protest at Boris Johnson's handling of Brexit.

Rudd has quit her post as work and pensions secretary and said she was relinquishing the Tory whip after the prime minister sacked 21 rebels this week.

Johnson removed the whip from two former chancellors and Winston Churchill's grandson after they voted to give opposition MPs control of the order paper and start the process of blocking a no-deal Brexit.

"I cannot stand by as good, loyal moderate Conservatives are expelled," Rudd declared on Saturday.

"I have spoken to the PM and my Association Chairman to explain. I remain committed to the One Nation values that drew me into politics."

Rudd said she thought a no-deal Brexit was now the government's main aim.

The former home secretary was dogged by questions throughout the Tory leadership contest about whether she could serve in Johnson's cabinet if he won the race.

She accepted the offer of continuing in her job as work and pensions secretary when Johnson formed his cabinet in July.

However in her letter of resignation, the now independent MP said that while she accepted the need to keep a no-deal Brexit as an option, she "no longer believed leaving with a deal is the government's main objective".

Issuing forthright criticism of Johnson, she called his decision to sack Tory rebels - such as ex-chancellor Philip Hammond, Churchill's grandson Nicholas Soames and Ken Clarke, the longest serving MP in the House of Commons - "an "assault on decency and democracy".

"This short-sighted culling of my colleagues has stripped the party of broad-minded and dedicated Conservative MPs. I cannot support this act of political vandalism," Rudd said.

"Therefore, it is with regret that I am also surrendering the Conservative whip."

Labour Party chair Ian Lavery said Rudd's sudden resignation was a sign that no one trusts Johnson.

"The prime minister has run out of authority in record time and his Brexit plan has been exposed as a sham," he said.

"No one trusts Boris Johnson. Not his cabinet, not his MPs, not even his own brother.

"After nine years of austerity, we need a Labour government that will invest in our communities and public services."

Austrlaian Associated PressBack to Breaking News

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