After a Partygate scandal inquiry ruled that Boris Johnson had lied to the legislature and recommended a lengthy suspension from the House of Commons, Johnson resigned as a Conservative MP immediately.
Angrily accusing the probe of attempting to remove him from office, the former prime minister said there was a “witch-hunt” happening to get revenge for Brexit and ultimately to overturn the outcome of the 2016 referendum.
He criticized Rishi Sunak’s administration in a furious 1,000-word letter, accusing it of raising taxes, not being sufficiently conservative, and failing to capitalize on Brexit.
Johnson made an indication that he would try to get back into politics by stating that he was “very sad to be leaving parliament, at least for the time being.”
Less than four years have passed since he earned an 80-seat political majority, and nine months have passed since he resigned as prime minister following a police fine for violating his own Covid guidelines.
After being handed the findings of the privileges committee against him earlier this week, Johnson issued a statement criticizing his political foes for picking on him. I am surprised and shocked that I can be forced out, anti-democratically, by a committee chaired and controlled by [the Labour MP] Harriet Harman, with such blatant bias, he stated that he is very sad to be departing parliament – at least for the time being.
“Regardless of the evidence, their goal has been to convict me from the start.” He stated that the incident defines the word kangaroo court in every sense of the word.
In Johnson’s Uxbridge and South Ruislip constituency, a byelection will be held right away as a result of his resignation. Nadine Dorries, the MP for Mid Bedfordshire, resigned after being denied inclusion on Johnson’s peerage list, making it Sunak’s second resignation in a single day. According to Labour sources, both seats are contestable.
On the day Sunak approved Johnson’s resignation honors list, which included more than 40 peerages and other honors for some of his closest associates from the time of the Partygate incident, Johnson made an unexpected decision.
Some of these people include Jack Doyle, his former director of communications, who had discussed how to mitigate the issue, and Martin Reynolds, who handled a Downing Street garden party in 2020 while there were lockdown limitations. The Lib Dems called the list “gongs for Johnson’s Partygate pals” and “corruption pure and simple,” while Labour said it amounted to “rewards for people who tried covering up rule-breaking.”
Although Johnson’s resignation implies their report will not have the same weight as it would have had towards an elected MP, Sunak has been facing criticism for releasing the list while the privileges committee’s investigation into Partygate was still ongoing.
It is thought that the committee of MPs, which includes Tory, Labour, and SNP members, recommended that he be removed for more than 10 days, which may have resulted in a petition for his recall and a byelection in his district. Following Johnson’s accusations, a committee spokesperson stated that the committee has always adhered to the rules and the House’s mandate and would do so going forward.