UK's Alan Duncan quits as Foreign Office minister
Joins Finance Minister Hammond in protest at Johnson no-deal Brexit threat
UK Foreign Office minister Alan Duncan resigned on Monday before the probable installation of Boris Johnson as prime minister, joining other senior government members who said they would not serve under the leadership favourite.
His departure came after Finance Minister Philip Hammond and the Justice Secretary David Gauke said they would quit this week before Johnson took the keys to Downing Street on Wednesday.
All three said they would not serve under Johnson because he refused to rule out a no-deal Brexit. Knowing their pro-EU leanings would not survive under the hardline right-wing Brexiteer, they chose to deny him the satisfaction of sacking them.
“The UK does so much good in the world. It is tragic that just when we could have been the dominant intellectual and political force throughout Europe, and beyond, we have had to spend every day working beneath the dark cloud of Brexit,” Duncan wrote in his resignation letter to Prime Minister Theresa May.
He was scathing of Johnson's term as Foreign Secretary, and recently lambasted him over the resignation of the British ambassador to the US, Sir Kim Darroch, who resigned after comments criticising President Trump's administration were leaked.
Duncan said Johnson, who failed to support Darroch publicly, had "basically thrown our top diplomat under the bus".
"His disregard for Sir Kim Darroch and his refusal to back him was pretty contemptible and not in the interests of the country he is hoping to lead," he said at the time.
Hammond confirmed he would resign as after May's final session of Prime Minister's Questions on Wednesday if Johnson was named Tory leader.
“I’m not going to be sacked because I’m going to resign before we get to that point, assuming that Boris Johnson becomes the next Prime Minister,” he told the BBC on Sunday.
“I understand that his conditions for serving in his government would include accepting a no-deal exit on 31 October.
“That is not something I could ever sign up to. It's very important that a Prime Minister is able to have a Chancellor who is closely aligned with him in terms of policy and I therefore intend to resign to Theresa May before she goes to the palace to tender her own resignation on Wednesday.”