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5 September 2019

Jo Johnson’s quitting – but Boris Johnson said he’d never “shaft” his MP brother in 2013

“Torn between family loyalty and the national interest”, Jo Johnson is standing down as business minister and a Tory MP.

By Media Mole

Boris Johnson’s younger brother Jo, Conservative MP for Orpington, has never quite seen eye-to-eye with him on Brexit. He voted Remain in 2016, and quit his roles as transport and London minister under Theresa May at the end of last year in order to endorse a second referendum.

As his brother became Prime Minister, Jo re-entered government as a business minister – but now he’s announced that he’s quitting as a Tory MP and minister, because he’s “torn between family loyalty and the national interest”.

Your mole notes that in a 2013 interview with The Australian newspaper as Mayor of London, Johnson boldly declared that he would never “shaft” his brother in the political arena in the manner of Ed versus David Miliband.

“We don’t do things that way, that’s a very left-wing thing,” he said. “Only a socialist could do that to his brother, only a socialist could regard familial ties as being so trivial as to shaft his own brother… I mean, unbelievable. Only lefties can think like that…they see people as discrete agents devoid of ties to society or to each other, and that’s how Stalin could murder 20 million people.”

He also said it was “very likely” Jo would become prime minister, and “I think he’d be brilliant”.

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Interesting, then, that Jo feels the only way he can express his political principles is by quitting his own brother’s party, which has been booting out any MP that opposes the leadership…

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Hat-tip @theobertram!