Work and Pensions secretary Amber Rudd quits

Cheryl Sanders
September 11, 2019

"I can not stand by as good, loyal moderate Conservatives are expelled", she said referring to Johnson's decision to expel 21 MPs from the Conservative party for voting against the government on Brexit.

In her letter of resignation, Rudd wrote: "I joined your cabinet in good faith: accepting that no-deal had to be on the table, because it was the means by which we would have the best chance of achieving a new deal to leave on 31 October".

Writing in the Mail on Sunday, she said Mr Bercow "hasn't just bent the rules, he has broken them", adding that a general election this autumn would bring an opportunity to "give us back an impartial Speaker".

'As satisfying as it might have been for those in Number 10 frustrated by Commons stalling on Brexit, it may still prove as "short-sighted" as Amber Rudd predicts'.

Moreover, she agreed to the condition imposed on all ministers that they must be prepared to countenance the UK's departure from the European Union without a deal if that is how things end up.

Her resignation of the Conservative whip alongside her cabinet position will see her sit as an independent MP in the Commons.

The former home secretary said the issue was not confined to her own party, with Labour's Diana Johnson facing a deselection battle after the former minister became the first MP to be forced to fight to remain a candidate under new watered-down rules agreed by members past year.

Ms Rudd defended her decision to join Boris Johnson's cabinet.

Referencing her resignation, she added: "This was a very personal and hard decision".

Ms Rudd told the BBC she hoped the Tory whip would be restored to her and the sacked MPs before the next election is called.

"If we become a party which has no place for moderates like I am, centre-right conservatives, then we will not win".

Meanwhile Scottish Conservative ex-leader Ruth Davidson, today said that the decision to remove the whip from the former Tory MPs - including so-called "Big Beasts" like Ken Clarke - was a "big risk".

"I can not support this act of political vandalism".

"I think this is disproportionately unfair to single out this group who have a different view on leaving the European Union".

The prime minister holding firm appears to be winning favour with the public, with a YouGov poll for the Sunday Times finding the Conservatives on 35 per cent approval, 14 points ahead of Labour (on 21 per cent), with the Liberal Democrats in third on 19 per cent, and the Brexit Party on 12 per cent.

"It's been a rough week, but the reality is the Prime Minister is sticking to his guns on what he said to get us out of this rut that we're in".

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