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Senior Tories say they're stepping down after Boris Johnson confirmed as new party leader

Boris Johnson was announced as the new Conservative Party leader this afternoon.

Updated Jul 23rd 2019, 12:35 PM

THE UK’S SKILLS and Apprenticeships Minister Ann Milton has resigned from the role, saying she has “grave concerns about leaving the EU without a deal”, while Justice Minister David Gauke has also signalled he is leaving the front bench.

It comes after Boris Johnson was confirmed as the new Conservative Party leader this afternoon, with the Uxbridge and South Ruislip MP due to become the new prime minister tomorrow. 

“And so I feel it’s time for me to return to the backbenches,” Milton wrote in a letter to Theresa May today.

Milton has served in three Departments since 2010, and was the first woman to serve as Deputy Chief Whip. In her letter to May, she spoke about the importance of further education and the “universally inspiring” apprentices she has met. 

“This has not been an easy decision for me to make… [but] we must leave the EU in a responsible manner.” 

I have always believed that our departure from the European Union should be centered around future cooperation, and I had sincerely hoped we would have been able to leave the EU in March with a deal in place. I very much regret that this was not possible. 

Milton joins other members of government, including Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond, who’ve said they would resign if Johnson becomes Prime Minister due to his support of a no-deal Brexit.

Justice Minister Gauke is also on the way out, tweeting earlier that it had been an “honour to serve in Cabinet”. 

Yesterday, Foreign Office minister Alan Duncan resigned ahead of Johnson’s impending appointment, and Secretary of State for International Development Rory Stewart has said he will also resign over Johnson’s Brexit policy. 

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