Former business minister Lord Young resigns over Johnson’s prorogation decision

Lord Young

Government whip Lord Young has resigned following the Prime Minister’s decision to prorogue parliament in the run-up to Brexit.

The move came as Ruth Davidson confirmed her decision to quit as leader of the Scottish Conservatives.

Young this morning wrote to the Leader of the House of Lords Baroness Evans, saying “following the announcement… I am afraid I cannot continue to serve in your team”.

But he was “very unhappy at the timing and length of the prorogation and its motivation,” Young told Evans, who was one of three ministers who flew to Balmoral yesterday to put the plan to the Queen.

“While not agreeing with the hyperbole of some critics, I have been unpersuaded by the reasons given for that decision, which I believe risks undermining the fundamental role of parliament at a critical time in our history, and reinforces the view that the government may not have the confidence of the House for its Brexit policy,” wrote Young.

He stressed he was “not part of any Remainer plot, nor have I spoken to anyone about my decision to resign”.

Young’s departure from government came as Davidson confirmed her widely expected resignation this morning.

Davidson, who gave birth to her first child last autumn, said the changes “both personally and in the wider political context” had led to her decision.

“While I have not hidden the conflict I have felt over Brexit, I have attempted to chart a course for our party which recognises and respects the referendum result, while seeking to maximise opportunities and mitigate risks for Scottish businesses and sectors,” she said in her resignation letter.

Davidson said the prospect of “getting on the road to fight two elections in 20 months…now fills me with dread”.

“The party and my work has always come first, often at the expense of commitments to love ones. The arrival of my son means I now make a different choice.”

Speaking to journalists this morning, Davidson stressed she had “looked [the Prime Minister” in the eye” and had faith in Johnson’s claims that he was trying to get a deal. She noted MPs had “three golden opportunities to avoid a no deal” which they had failed to take advantage of.

To Remainers, she urged: “Vote for a deal. Don’t blow it… If you want a deal, for God’s sake vote for it.”