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Alistair Burt says he will quit as MP at next election over ‘unresolvable’ differences with Boris Johnson

2 min read

Alistair Burt has announced that he will stand down as an MP ahead of the next general election over “fundamental and unresolvable disagreements” with Boris Johnson over Brexit.

The former foreign office minister, who served at the department under the now Prime Minister, is among a raft of Tories expected to vote for an opposition bid on Tuesday evening attempting to block a no-deal Brexit.

It comes despite Number 10 threatening to withdraw the party whip and prevent them from running as Conservative candidates at any snap election.

Mr Burt's decision follows that of Justine Greening, who said she was standing down at the next election since the choice between the Conservatives and Labour represented a "lose-lose" situation.

The former education secretary said her party under Mr Johnson had become "the Brexit Party".

Tory MP Keith Simpson also announced on Tuesday morning that he would be standing down at the next election, although said his decision was "nothing to do with Brexit".

In a letter to constituents, the North East Bedfordshire MP, Mr Burt, said: "After those eighteen years, and the thirty-two in total as an MP and Minister, there was always going to be a time to go, and the end of this, my ninth Parliament, seemed a likely possibility.

"However it would be foolish to pretend other than that matters have been brought forward by recent events.”

"It has become clear that I have a fundamental, and unresolvable disagreement with our party leadership on the manner in which we leave the EU, and the consequences going forward for doing so.

"This is very likely to be at the root of the next election, and I believe it is unfair of me to present you with a conflict of interest between my views and those of the party at an election, even if current circumstances do not result in my having the whip in Parliament removed.”

He added that he would not stand as an independent since the Tories had been a "huge part" of his life.

"It would break my heart to be canvassing for votes across the road from lifelong friends," he added.

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