Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

22.20 7 Sep 2019


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A senior Conservative minister in the UK has announced her resignation, accusing Boris Johnson's government of an "assault on decency and democracy".

The work and pensions secretary Amber Rudd also announced she was surrendering the party whip.

In a letter to Mr Johnson, she wrote: "I joined your Cabinet in good faith: accepting that 'No Deal' had to be on the table, because it was the means by which we would have the best chance of achieving a new deal to leave on 31 October.

"However I no longer believe leaving with a deal is the government's main objective."

She said she had not received reassurances she sought that efforts were being made to reach a fresh deal with the EU.

Meanwhile, she sharply criticised Mr Johnson for the decision to remove the party whip from Tory rebels who broke ranks to back an opposition bid to block a no-deal Brexit.

The rebels - including former chancellor Philip Hammond and Winston Churchill's grandson Nicholas Soames - were all ejected from the parliamentary party over the vote.

Ms Rudd claimed the decision had stripped the party of "broad-minded and dedicated" MPs, adding that she could not support "this act of political vandalism".

The latest development follows a difficult week for Boris Johnson, in which he failed to defeat the bill to block a no-deal Brexit and also had his bid to call a general election rejected by opposition parties.

Ms Rudd's resignation marks the most public display of yet seen of internal Conservative party and cabinet disquiet over Mr Johnson's Brexit strategy.

The British prime minister is due in Dublin on Monday to discuss Brexit with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

Main image: Britain's Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd. Picture by: Alberto Pezzali/AP/Press Association Images

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