Boris Johnson's brother resigns from UK government amid Brexit tensions

Boris Johnson's brother resigns from UK government amid Brexit tensions
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Jo Johnson, the younger brother of United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson, announced on Thursday that he was resigning from his posts in Parliament and his brother's government. 

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Jo Johnson, a conservative member of Parliament for Orpington who served as a universities minister, said in a statement on Twitter that he's been "torn between family loyalty and the national interest" the last few weeks, adding that "it's an unresolvable tension & time for others to take on my roles."

"It’s been an honour to represent Orpington for 9 years & to serve as a minister under three PMs," he said in the tweet. 

The abrupt resignation comes amid a tumultuous week for his brother, who has seen his Brexit agenda spark fierce opposition from British lawmakers. 

The House of Commons on Wednesday advanced legislation designed to prevent Boris Johnson from letting the country leave the European Union without a formal deal. The legislation now heads to the House of Lords. 

The previous day, 21 members of the governing Conservative Party defied Johnson by approving a bill that would allow lawmakers to introduce legislation that would force Johnson to ask the EU for a three-month extension if a deal isn't reached by the current Brexit deadline of Oct. 31. 

Boris Johnson responded by expelling the group of conservative members from his party and calling for snap general elections. Though he failed to receive the necessary support for the request on Wednesday. 

A majority of British voters supported a referendum in 2016 to leave the EU. But the government has struggled to generate a transition plan. Boris Johnson came into power vowing to leave the EU even if a formal deal hadn't been reached, a prospect that many have feared could lead to disastrous consequence for the British economy.