The grandson of former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Nicholas Soames, is among the 21 lawmakers who will be expelled from the U.K.’s Conservative Party. This is happening in the wake of breaking with Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a vote on Brexit earlier on Tuesday, Reuters reports.
Soames and 20 other members of the governing Conservative Party took the spotlight earlier on Tuesday after they voted to join the opposition party in supporting a measure that would stop Johnson from taking the UK out of the European Union in the absence of a formal deal.
In response to the move, Johnson is moving to have the group expelled from the Conservative Party, a spokesman for his office confirmed to Reuters.
“The chief whip is speaking to those Tory (Conservative) MPs (members of parliament) who did not vote with the government this evening. They will have the Tory whip removed,” the representative said, according to a Reuters source.
Soames confirmed the news in an interview later on Tuesday, Reuters reported.
“I have been told by the chief whip, who is my friend and who I like very much, that it will be his sad duty to write to me tomorrow to tell me I have had the whip removed after 37 years as a Conservative member of parliament,” the 71-year-old said. “That’s fortunes of war. I knew what I was doing.”
“It is a pity – a great pity – that this has in my view all been planned: this is exactly what they wanted and they will try to have a general election which is what they wanted,” Soames said. He has served as a Conservative Member of Parliament for nearly four decades.
As The Washington Post revealed, Soames’s confirmation arrives on the 80th anniversary of the day Britain declared word on Nazi Germany and then-Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain tapped Churchill to become First Lord of the Admiralty. Churchill would later go on to become prime minister of Britain in 1940.