U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson's brother quits government over Brexit

Access to the comments Comments
By Max Burman  with NBC News World News
Image: Britain's Minister of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Stra
Britain's former Minister of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Department and Education Department Jo Johnson.   -   Copyright  Hannah Mckay

LONDON — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's younger brother announced Thursday that he was quitting the government and standing down as a member of Parliament, becoming the latest casualty in the war over whether and how the U.K. leaves the European Union.

"In recent weeks I've been torn between family loyalty and the national interest," Johnson who was a junior minister in his brother's Cabinet, said Thursday on Twitter. "It's an unresolvable tension and time for others to take on my roles as MP and minister."

Boris' plans to take the U.K. out of the European "do or die" on Oct. 31 were dealt two significant blows Wednesdayas lawmakers passed a bill forcing him to request another extension and then blocked his attempt to call a snap election.

Jo Johnson, who voted in the June 2016 referendum to stay in the E.U., also quit former Prime Minister Theresa May's government over her handling of Brexit.

He was brought back into government as an education minister when his older brother took power in July after May stood down.