Universities Minister Jo Johnson, the prime minister’s younger brother, has announced he is stepping down from his position.
The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has removed his name from its website, following his reappointment over the summer as part of Boris Johnson’s cabinet reshuffle.
Mr Johnson was responsible for directing funding for universities – including in low carbon projects – and previously called for diesel trains to be phased out by 2040 when he served as Transport Minister.
Writing on Twitter, the MP for Orpington – who voted Remain in the 2016 EU referendum – said he has been “torn between family loyalty and the national interest”, adding: “It’s an unresolvable tension & time for others to take on my roles as MP & Minister.”
It’s been an honour to represent Orpington for 9 years & to serve as a minister under three PMs. In recent weeks I’ve been torn between family loyalty and the national interest – it’s an unresolvable tension & time for others to take on my roles as MP & Minister. #overandout
— Jo Johnson (@JoJohnsonUK) September 5, 2019
Mr Johnson resigned as a minister last year in protest at Theresa May’s Brexit deal.
Reacting to the resignation, Mary Creagh MP, Chair of the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) said: “Jo Johnson standing down. Clearly can’t stomach his brother’s no deal Brexit plans. The wheels have come off the Boris bus.”
BREAKING Jo Johnson standing down.
Clearly can’t stomach his brother’s no deal Brexit plans.
The wheels have come off the Boris bus. https://t.co/uzwrf2YS0n
— Mary Creagh (@MaryCreaghMP) September 5, 2019
Caroline Lucas, Co-Leader of the Green Party also tweeted: “There’s losing ministers – and then there’s losing ministers…”