Boris Johnson’s sister Rachel has joined the Liberal Democrats to oppose a hard Brexit, in an extraordinary rebuff to her brother.
According to reports by Channel 4 News and the Guardian, Rachel Johnson was even eyeing standing for election for the Lib Dems in the South West, where the party is hoping to regain seats from the Conservative Party.
Boris Johnson, now Foreign Secretary, was famously split over whether to campaign to leave the EU, and wrote two columns justifying his position in either circumstance.
Rachel Johnson wrote how his decision caused a rift, and explained how she and her children cried after the Brexit vote with her 19-year-old son Oliver telling her “Boris has stolen our futures”.
The Johnson family are pro-European, with universities minister Jo Johnson and the siblings’ father, former Tory MEP Stanley Johnson, backing Remain.
Following referendum result, Rachel Johnson wrote about how she “sat down and wept” over the result, and has also recorded the fall-out from her brother’s decision to lead the official Vote Leave campaign.
In a column she has written: “In general elections I have voted nothing but Tory, and since I have two brothers standing as MPs for the party, it’s sort of a matter of family duty.”
The Mail on Sunday columnist and author reportedly has a home in Exeter, Devon, and considered standing for the Lib Dems in target seats in Somerset, but may not have enough time to be selected for the June 8 vote.
It comes as the Foreign Secretary made his most prominent intervention in the election campaign, describing Jeremy Corbyn as a “mutton-headed mugwump” - which appeared to backfire when he appeared on TV today.