Nicholas Soames, grandson of Winston Churchill, stood before the House of Commons on Wednesday to announce his decision to retire from politics.
This decision came a day after Soames and 20 other lawmakers were expelled from the United Kingdom’s Conservative Party after voting against Prime Minister Boris Johnson, according to The New York Times.
Soames’ expulsion was particularly shocking due to Johnson’s admiration for Churchill.
“I’m truly very sad that it should end this way,” Soames said, according to The New York Times. “It is my most fervent hope that this house will rediscover the spirit of compromise, humility and understanding that will enable us finally to push ahead with the vital work in the interests of the whole country that has inevitably had to be so sadly neglected whilst we have devoted so much time to wrestling with Brexit.”
Soames noted that he had only voted against the Tory government three times in his 37 years in Parliament, but that this was the first time he had had “the whip removed,” meaning he would no longer participate in Parliament.
Soames and 20 other members of the Conservative Party voted to support a measure that would prevent Johnson from taking the United Kingdom out of the European Union without the presence of a deal, according to The Hill.
Since taking office in July, Johnson has dismissed several cabinet members and has issued a five-week suspension of Parliament in hopes of preventing anyone from challenging his plan to leave the European Union, regardless of whether there is a deal in place.
After their pushback on Tuesday — aided by the Tory rebels — lawmakers plan to push through legislation to prevent a no-deal Brexit.
Soames said in an interview with BBC that he believed the purge on members of the Conservative Party to be part of Johnson’s plan to pursue a general election and challenge the Brexit Party of Nigel Farage, according to The Washington Post.
“It’s a pity — a great pity — that this has in my view all been planned,” Soames said. “This is exactly what they wanted, and they will try to have a general election which is what they wanted.”
The expelled lawmakers will be allowed to represent Parliament as independent candidates in the next general election, but Soames said he would not.