In a stunning turn of events, PM Boris Johnson has lost the Tory's majority in the House of Commons after Bracknell MP Dr. Philip Lee, an anti-Brexit conservative, decided to defect to the Liberal Democrats, according to Bloomberg.
In an act of high drama, Lee said he would quit over the way Boris Johnson was pursuing a "damaging Brexit" that could "put lives at risk. After months of rumors that he was planning on joining another political party, Lee on Tuesday walked across the floor of the Commons during debate and sat with the Lib Dems as Johnson addressed MPs.
Here you go: Tory MP Philip Lee literally crosses the floor, follows Lib Dem chief whip Alistair Carmichael and new MP Jane Dodds onto the LD benches, takes a seat next to party leader Jo Swinson pic.twitter.com/VbRPG3CTTB— Alex Partridge 🚡 (@alexpartridge87) September 3, 2019
Lee follows in the footsteps of former Toy MP Sarah Wollaston, and former Labour MP Chuka Umunna in joining the LibDems, who now have 15 MPs.
The LibDem leader Jo Swinson said she was delighted with Lee joining at such a critical moment for British politics, per the Guardian.
"He brings almost 10 years of parliamentary experience and decades of professional expertise. He shares our commitment to prevent a disastrous no deal Brexit, and to stop Brexit altogether," she said.
Phillip follows both Chuka Umunna MP and Sarah Wollaston MP in bravely crossing the floor to join us.”
Back in June, Lee suffered a local no-confidence vote, and risked de-selection by his local conservatives at the next general election.
Circling back to Johnson, who has struggling to hold on to power, even with the support of the Democratic Unionist Party, Johnson no longer has a Parliamentary majority.
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Read Philip Lee's statement full statement:
"Over 27 years ago I joined the Conservative & Unionist Party led by Sr John Major. Since 2010 I have had the privilege of representing the Bracknell Constituency. The Party I joined in 1992 is not the Party I am leaving today.
"This Conservative Government is aggressively pursuing a damaging Brexit in unprincipled ways. It is putting lives and livelihoods at risk unnecessarily and it is wantonly endangering the integrity of the United Kingdom. More widely, It is undermining our country's economy, democracy and role in the world. It is using political manipulation, bullying and lies. And It is doing these things in a deliberate and considered way.
"That is why today I am joining Jo Swinson and the liberal Democrats. I believe the Liberal Democrats are best placed to build the unifying and inspiring political force needed to heal our divisions, unleash our talents, equip us to take the opportunities and overcome the challenges that we face as a society - and leave our country and our world in a better place for the next generations."
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The pound climbed on the news, presumably because Lee's defection makes a no-deal Brexit less likely.