UK Tories in ‘unprecedented’ disarray over Brexit

London, Sept 4 (AFP/APP):Britain’s ruling Conservative Party is imploding this week as a result of a no-holds-barred battle over Brexit that has seen the expulsion of 21 moderate MPs, including Winston Churchill’s grandson, experts said.

In a culmination of decades of infighting over Europe, Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday axed the lawmakers, some of them former ministers, after they voted against the government’s hardline Brexit strategy.

Among those targeted were Philip Hammond, finance minister for three years until July, and Ken Clarke, parliament’s longest-serving MP dubbed “the Father of the House”.

Nicholas Soames, the grandson of wartime prime minister Churchill — widely considered the greatest Conservative leader — was also told he must now sit as an independent.

The cull, which could bar them from standing as Conservatives at the next election, came hours after Phillip Lee resigned to join the Liberal Democrats — the fifth ruling party MP to quit this year.

“Sadly, the Brexit process has helped to transform this once great party into something more akin to a narrow faction,” he wrote in his resignation letter.

He said the party was no longer the “broad political church” he joined as a young man.

“It has increasingly become infected with the twin diseases of populism and English nationalism,” Lee said.

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