UK PM Johnson loses parliamentary majority ahead of Brexit vote

LondonUpdated: Sep 03, 2019, 10:38 PM IST
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Conservative MP Phillip Lee defected to the pro-EU Liberal Democrats

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson lost his working parliamentary majority ahead of a crucial Brexit vote on Tuesday after Conservative MP Phillip Lee defected to the pro-EU Liberal Democrats.

"The Liberal Democrats are delighted to announce that Bracknell MP Phillip Lee has joined the party," the Lib Dems said in a statement.


"After a great deal of thought, I have reached the conclusion that it is no longer possible to serve my constituents’ and country’s best interests as a Conservative member of Parliament," Lee said in his tweet while publishing his resignation letter.

"This Conservative government is aggressively pursuing a damaging Brexit in unprincipled ways," said Lee.

"It is using political manipulation, bullying and lies. And it is doing these things in a deliberate and considered way," he added. 

Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson said she was "delighted" by the defection.

"He shares our commitment to prevent a disastrous No Deal Brexit, and to stop Brexit altogether," she said. 

Addressing the British Parliament PM Johnson said: "We will deliver Brexit," adding," there will be no pointless delay."

"We need to respect the people's referendum," the British prime minister added.

"We will get the deal by October 31," Johnson assured Parliament. Johnson added that he would be making his first visit to Ireland on Monday.

"I will be discussing it with the Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar when I see him in Dublin on Monday," Johnson told the British Parliament.