Embattled British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has suffered a fresh blow with the resignation of a senior cabinet minister who told him that the "culling" of Tory MPs who oppose his Brexit plans was "an assault on decency and democracy".
Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd said in a letter to the Prime Minister that she was resigning because "I no longer believe leaving with a deal is the government's main objective".
Last week Johnson kicked 21 MPS out of the parliamentary Conservative Party after they sided with the opposition to pass a law designed to prevent Britain from leaving the European Union next month without a divorce deal.
"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," wrote Rudd, who said she is also quitting the party and will sit as an independent.
Those expelled included the longest-serving Conservative in Parliament, Kenneth Clarke, Winston Churchill's grandson Nicholas Soames and former Chancellor Philip Hammond who has said he is considering taking the matter to court, vowing not to be “pushed out” of the party by “unelected Downing Street advisers”.
Writing in his local newspaper, Mr Hammond said “I am saddened that the Conservative Party (run by people who were serial rebels under Theresa May) has resorted to purging anyone expressing dissent.”
Johnson says Britain must leave the EU as scheduled on October 31 even if there is no divorce agreement with the bloc. But his plan is meeting fierce resistance, even from those closest to him.
Last week his younger brother, Jo Johnson, also quit the government over Brexit, saying he had been "torn between family loyalty and the national interest".
The Prime Minister is seeking a snap election on October 15 as a way to break the deadlock over Brexit, but MPs and peers last week rejected his call for an early poll.
The House of Lords passed a bill on Friday in effect blocking a no-deal Brexit, paving the way for it to become law.
Asked if he would obey the new law's demand for him to write to EU leaders requesting more time, Mr Johnson said said this week he would rather be "dead in a ditch" than seek a postponement. "I will not [write to Brussels]. I don't want a delay."
According to The Daily Telegraph, the Prime Minister wrote to Tory party members on Friday evening, telling them: "They just passed a law that would force me to beg Brussels for an extension to the Brexit deadline. This is something I will never do."
Former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith encouraged Johnson to break the law, saying he would be seen as a Brexit "martyr" if judges opted to put him jail for breaching Parliament's terms.
If Johnson fails to carry out the will of Parliament, he risks being taken to court and, if a judge ordered him to obey Parliament, he could be held in contempt and even jailed if he refused.
He is due to try to get an election called again on Monday, but opposition parties say they will veto that attempt, too.
They want to postpone an election until Britain has secured a delay to the October 31 Brexit deadline, removing the risk the UK could crash out without a deal.
Most economists say a no-deal Brexit would severely disrupt trade with the EU and plunge Britain into recession.
سایت تابناک از انتشار نظرات حاوی توهین و افترا و نوشته شده با حروف لاتین (فینگیلیش) معذور است.