London – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s brother, who was a Conservative Member of Parliament alongside his older sibling, resigned on Thursday. Jo Johnson has been an MP for nine years and disagrees with the prime minister’s stance on Brexit.
“In recent weeks I’ve been torn between family loyalty and the national interest,” he tweeted. “It’s an unresolvable tension & time for others to take on my roles as MP & Minister.”
The younger Johnson voted against Brexit in the 2016 referendum and has been vocal in his belief that a from the European Union would be bad for Britain.
“The Prime Minister would like to thank Jo Johnson for his service,” a spokesman for the Prime Minister’s office said in a statement, according to Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper.
“The PM, as both a politician and brother, understands this will not have been an easy matter for Jo,” he continued.
Jo Johnson isn’t expected to leave parliament immediately, but rather stand down at the next general election.
The prime minister’s sister Rachel Johnson, who is a journalist in the U.K., tweeted that her family doesn’t discuss Brexit at meals.
“We don’t want to gang up on the PM!” she said.
Late Wednesday, Boris Johnson’s bid for a snap general election was rejected by parliament. He was seeking a vote after the House of Commons passed a bill requiring him to avoid a “no-deal” exit from the EU by seeking an extension to the upcoming October 31 deadline.
The bill has now gone to parliament’s upper house, the House of Lords. The government expects it to pass on Friday.