Amber Rudd has spoken out against the government after sensationally quitting as a cabinet minister over Boris Johnson’s pursuit of a no-deal Brexit. The former Work and Pensions Secretary today said she needed to join her 21 Conservative colleagues who had the whip withdrawn this week for rebelling against the prime minister.
She has been replaced in the cabinet by Therese Coffey MP, an environment minister and MP for Suffolk Coastal, within hours of announcing her resignation. Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show, Ms Rudd said: ‘I believe [Boris Johnson] is trying to get a deal with the EU, I am just saying what I have seen in government is that there is this huge machine preparing for no-deal.
‘You might expect in the balance between getting a deal and no-deal 50/50 in terms of work but it’s not that, it’s like 80 per cent to 90 per cent of government time going into preparing for no-deal and the absence of trying to get a deal has driven 21 of my colleagues to rebel, and I need to join them.’
She added that she was not leaving politics or the Conservative Party, and that she hoped she could return before a general election is held. Ms Rudd added: ‘I supported Boris Johnson in his approach and I believe I was right to do that. ‘It’s because of the consequences now, 21 senior colleagues expelled and the lack of planning for on actually getting a deal, which makes my position untenable.’
Mr Johnson sacked rebels after they voted to give opposition MPs control of the Commons agenda – paving the way his week for the possibility of a no-deal Brexit before 31 October being blocked. After announcing her decision to quit, Ms Rudd said: ‘I cannot stand by as good, loyal moderate Conservatives are expelled. ‘I have spoken to the PM and my Association Chairman to explain. I remain committed to the One Nation values that drew me into politics.’