Govt Minister Who Branded Brexit a ‘Working-Class Tantrum’ Resigns To Resist Potential PM Boris

Alan Duncan
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A government minister who was one of the loudest voices supporting the Trump-critic British ambassador who stepped down from this role earlier this month has also quit, announcing his departure just days before political rival Boris Johnson is expected to become British Prime Minister.

Sir Alan Duncan, who was a Foreign Office minister with responsibility for the Americas and who infamously dismissed the 2016 Brexit vote as a “tantrum” thrown by the British working class posted his letter of resignation to social media Monday morning.

While his colleague the Chancellor of the Exchequer — Britain’s finance minister — Philip Hammond has vowed to quit the role if Boris Johnson is revealed to be the next leader of the Conservative Party and hence de facto Prime Minister, Duncan has been more direct in departing the day before the result of the election is due to be announced. The resignation is emblematic of the sure feeling in Westminster that of former London Mayor Boris Johnson and foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt, Johnson is most likely to win the contest.

Anti-Brexit Justice secretary David Gauke is another cabinet minister who has vowed to resign in protest if Boris Johnson becomes Prime Minister. The move allows the group of politicians the ability to openly criticise and plot against the new leader immediately, as remaining in cabinet theoretically forces collective responsibility for the government although this has been effectively suspended during the Theresa May leadership.

Writing in his self-lauding resignation letter, Sir Alan told Prime Minister Theresa May, who should be out of office by Wednesday afternoon, that he was resigning “in order to be free to express my views in advance of you relinquishing office.” Duncan had previously vowed to “end” Boris Johnson’s political career over his criticisms of Theresa May’s Brexit policy.

Boris Johnson has vowed to take the United Kingdon out of the European Union in October “do or die” if he becomes Prime Minister, which has angered remainers within the Conservative Party, which has successfully kept the country in the political bloc for three years since the British people voted to leave in 2016. Recalling the pro-European Union coalition government of 2010-2015 led by David Cameron, anti-Brexit members of parliament from both the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats are already colluding to prevent Britain departing, according to reports.

Duncan’s public profile rose last month when he came out swinging for imperilled British Ambassador to the United States Sir Kim Darroch, whose undiplomatic diplomatic cables about President Trump were leaked to a British newspaper. Darroch was forced to resign after President Trump himself declared the United States was no longer willing to deal with him, making it impossible for him to do his job, prompting a visibly angry Duncan to criticise the “contemptible” Boris Johnson for not being more supportive of the anti-Trump diplomat.


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