Amber Rudd quits in new Brexit blow to UK PM Boris Johnson

Work and pensions secretary resigns from government and party in protest over handling of Brexit crisis.

Amber Rudd said she no longer believes leaving with a deal is ‘government’s main objective’ [File: Peter Nicholls/Reuters]
Embattled UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has received a new blow after Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd resigned from the government and left the Conservative Party in protest at his handling of the Brexit crisis.

Rudd’s move late on Saturday capped a miserable week for Johnson as he tries to steer his divided country through its biggest political crisis since World War II. Her departure came just days after the prime minister’s own brother, Jo Johnson, quit the government, saying he was “torn between family loyalty and the national interest.”

Rudd said on Saturday she could no longer endorse Johnson’s approach to Brexit because he seemed determined to crash out of the European Union without a deal.

“The government is expending a lot of energy to prepare for ‘No Deal’ but I have not seen the same level of intensity go into our talks with the European Union,” she wrote in her resignation letter.

Johnson says he wants to take Britain out of the EU on October 31 with or without a deal with the bloc. But he lost his parliamentary majority this week and expelled 21 Conservative MPs in parliament after they supported an opposition plan to try to block a no-deal exit.

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