News World Britain: Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd quits government

Britain: Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd quits government

Britain’s Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd resigned from the government and the ruling Conservative Party on Saturday in a protest over Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s handling of the country’s departure from the European Union.

Johnson says he wants to take Britain out of the EU on Oct. 31 with or without a deal with the bloc. But he lost his parliamentary majority this week and expelled 21 lawmakers from his Conservative Party’s group in parliament after they supported an opposition plan to try to block a no-deal exit.

Rudd, also a former interior minister who voted remain in the 2016 Brexit referendum, said the ousting of the rebel lawmakers, who included the grandson of Britain’s wartime leader Winston Churchill and two former finance ministers, was an “assault on decency and democracy.”

“I have resigned from Cabinet and surrendered the Conservative whip,” Rudd said on her Twitter account.

“I cannot stand by as good, loyal moderate Conservatives are expelled. I have spoken to the PM and my association chairman to explain,” she said.

Brexit remains up in the air more than three years after Britons voted to leave the EU. Options range from a turbulent no-deal exit to abandoning the whole endeavour.

In her resignation letter to Johnson, who succeeded Theresa May as prime minister in July, Rudd said: “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.

“However I no longer believe leaving with a deal is the government’s main objective.”

The Sunday Times reported that at least six cabinet members share Rudd’s views, with at least one also considering resigning.

Rudd’s resignation caps a tumultuous week for Johnson that has also seen his own brother Jo quit the government, saying he was “torn between family loyalty and the national interest.”

“The prime minister has run out of authority in record time and his Brexit plan has been exposed as a sham,” said Ian Lavery, chair of the main opposition Labour Party.

“No one trusts Boris Johnson. Not his Cabinet, not his MPs, not even his own brother.”

Johnson says the only solution to the Brexit impasse is a new election, which he wants to take place on Oct. 15, allowing him to win a new mandate with two weeks left to leave the bloc on time. He needs two-thirds of parliament’s lawmakers to back an early election.

But opposition parties, including Labour, said they would either vote against or abstain on calls for an election until a law to force Johnson to seek a Brexit delay is implemented.

On Saturday it emerged lawmakers are preparing legal action as they believe Johnson could try to defy the legislation compelling him to seek a further delay to Brexit.

The Sunday Telegraph reported that Dominic Cummings, Johnson’s top aide, is creating a shadow team of advisors to work on plans to fight an expected emergency judicial review in Britain’s highest court, the supreme court, next month if Johnson is unable to secure an election next week.

An opinion poll on election voting intentions carried out by YouGov for the Sunday Times put the Conservatives on 35%, Labour on 21%, the pro-remain Liberal Democrats on 19% and the Brexit Party on 12%.

Therese Coffey appointed UK work and pensions minister: PM’s office

The government has appointed Therese Coffey as work and pensions minister, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s office said on Sunday.

Coffey replaces Amber Rudd.

REUTERS

Top Stories

Two new Covid-19 cases, one traveller, one contact

  Two people have tested positive for coronavirus, one of them a traveller who came from Romania and the second a contact of a previously...

President to meet German Chancellor in Brussels, FM says

  President Nicos Anastasiades, will have a tete-a-tete with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Brussels where he will fly on Thursday to attend the European...

Circulation of certain public documents between EU member states

    The Ministry of Energy, Commerce and Industry announces that pursuant to an EU Regulation which promotes the free movement of citizens, certain public documents and their...

Belgium holds off on further easing steps as COVID cases turn higher

  Belgium postponed a further easing of rules on social gatherings on Wednesday after an uptick in the number of coronavirus infections, and the prime...

Prince William calls for end of illegal wildlife trade amid coronavirus crisis

    Britain's Prince William called for the illegal wildlife trade to come to an end, saying that the coronavirus pandemic had helped highlight the dangers...

Taste

Halloumi cheese fingers

Ingredients Serves: 2 1/2 tablespoon olive oil 175g (6 oz) halloumi cheese, cut into sticks 1 dessertspoon lemon juice 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano freshly ground black pepper to taste Method Prep:5min ›...

Koupes (cracked wheat pies) with mushrooms

Ingredients: For the dough: 1½ cup bulgur wheat 2 cups water 1 tsp. salt For the filling: 250gr. mushrooms, finely chopped ½ cup of olive oil 2 big onions, coarsely chopped 1...

Fried zucchini balls with halloumi

Ingredients: 6 medium zucchinis (approximately 1kg) 1 small onion, grated 1 large halloumi (about 250gr.), grated ½ cup simple flour 2 tsps. fine lemon zest 2 big eggs 1 tbsp. fresh...

Rocket salad

Ingredients: 4 cups rocket leaves, rinsed and dried 1 cup cherry tomatoes 1 cup pomegranate seeds 1 red bell pepper ½ cup croutons 2-3 light cheese slices (grated) salt ½ of a...