Gay MP Sir Alan Duncan has resigned in protest against the possibility of Boris Johnson becoming prime minister and overseeing a no-deal Brexit.
The first Conservative MP to come out as gay, back in 2002, Foreign Office minister Sir Alan wrote in his resignation letter to current PM Theresa May: “The UK does so much good in the world. It is tragic that just when we could have been the dominant intellectual and political force throughout Europe, and beyond, we have had to spend every day working towards the dark cloud of Brexit.”
He also said, in writing about Mrs May herself: “Please take lasting comfort from the knowledge that your self-esteem can, and will forever, far exceed that of your critics.”
In an interview with the BBC this afternoon, Sir Alan said of Johnson: “When I was his deputy I was totally loyal. We never had an argument. I never bad-mouthed him."
He continued: "I have very grave concerns that he flies by the seat of his pants, and it’s all a bit haphazard and ramshackle. But there’s no personal animosity of any sort. I just think he’s going to go smack into a crisis of government.”
If Johnson does become prime minister, Sir Alan’s resignation letter will be followed by those of Chancellor Philip Hammond and Justice Secretary David Gauke, neither of whom are willing to cross the line and embrace the prospect of a no-deal Brexit in order to retain their positions in the Cabinet.
Sir Alan has today also seen the Speaker, John Bercow, turn down his application for a debate tomorrow to test whether Johnson had the confidence of the Commons.
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