U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson under fire as Brexit reality hits

LONDON — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was last week stripped of his authority over Brexit, denied a new election and abandoned by his little brother.

Now another senior minister has quit his government and the ruling Conservative Party in protest at Johnson’s efforts to lead the U.K. out of the European Union on Oct. 31 with or without a deal.

Amber Rudd resigned Saturday, piling more pressure on the increasingly embattled prime minister.

Johnson expelled 21 members of his own party Tuesday after they supported an opposition plan to try to block a “no deal” Brexit.

Rudd, a former interior minister who voted to remain in the E.U. in the June 2016 referendum, said the ousting of the rebel lawmakers was an “assault on democracy” and an “act of political vandalism.”

“I cannot stand by as good, loyal moderate Conservatives are expelled,” she said in a tweet announcing her decision.

British media reports Sunday suggested more members of Johnson’s government could follow Amber Rudd and quit.BEN STANSALL / AFP – Getty Images

Johnson swept to power in July, uniting the party around his leadership after Theresa May’s failure to solve the country’s Brexit impasse.

As lawmakers returned from summer recess, he began the week dismissing accusations from protesters in the London streets that he had conducted a coup — such was the seemingly decisive nature of his power grab to suspend Parliament until mid-October in an effort to clear the way for his hardline Brexit plans.

But in a sign of how things have turned, the prime minister was forced to insist he would not himself resign.

“That is not a hypothesis I’m willing to contemplate,” he said Friday during a visit to a farm in Scotland.

Rudd’s resignation is the latest sign that Johnson’s uncompromising approach to Brexit, an issue that has obsessed the country and paralyzed its politics, could break his party and threaten his tenuous hold on power.

Max Burman, Reuters and Mo Abbas contributed.

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