Boris Johnson continues push for election as brother Jo Johnson resigns

Despite a string of stinging defeats in Parliament, and the painful, public resignation of his own brother, Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday continued his passionate push for an early general election he hopes would help him deliver Brexit by Oct. 31.

Johnson cast his quest to bust Britain out of the European Union in defiant and populist terms, saying he would “rather be dead in a ditch” than seek any further delays to Brexit.

He said he didn’t want to see “the “powers of the British people handed over to Brussels, so we can be kept incarcerated in the E.U.” That echoed the populist — and successful — appeal to British voters to “take back control” of Britain that led to the passage of Brexit in a 2016 national referendum.

Still, the tumult of the past week appeared to be taking a toll on Johnson, who was unusually halting and uncertain as he spoke before a group of police cadets in Yorkshire. Normally a gifted and confident orator, Johnson squinted awkwardly into the bright sunshine. He stumbled as he tried to recite the British equivalent of the Miranda rights to the cadets, who know the lines well.

That may have been especially understandable on a day he suffered the personal blow of having his younger brother, Jo Johnson, resign as a member of Parliament and government minister.

“In recent weeks I’ve been torn between family loyalty and the national interest — it’s an unresolvable tension & time for others to take on my roles as MP & Minister,” Jo Johnson tweeted, using the hashtag #overandout.

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