Boris Johnson resigns, blasts Sunak and slams partygate inquiry

Boris Johnson has resigned as an MP, effective immediately, and criticised Rishi Sunak in a scathing resignation letter. The former Prime Minister also attacked the panel of MPs investigating whether he lied to the Commons over the partygate scandal. The privileges committee confirmed that it will meet on Monday to conclude its inquiry, with a spokesperson promising to publish its report “promptly.”

In a defiant 1,000-word statement, Johnson claimed that a “tiny handful of people” were using their investigation to “drive him out” of parliament, and accused the privileges committee of not producing any evidence to suggest he misled the Commons. He described the committee as a “kangaroo court” determined to find him guilty, and claimed a “witch hunt” was underway to “take revenge for Brexit” and reverse the referendum result. Johnson also argued that the Conservatives’ gap in the polls has “massively widened” since he left power and called for tax cuts.

Johnson was particularly critical of Labour MP Harriet Harman, the chair of the privileges committee, accusing her of overseeing a panel driven by “egregious bias.” His resignation means Rishi Sunak now faces the prospect of two by-elections, with Nadine Dorries, one of Johnson’s closest allies, also announcing on Friday that she was vacating her seat effective immediately. The Conservatives may face a challenge holding on to Johnson’s seat in Uxbridge, west London, as polling data from Savanta suggests that Labour currently has a 14-point lead in the constituency.

The privileges committee responded to Johnson’s comments in a statement, insisting that proper procedures had been followed “at all times” and would continue to be so. A spokesperson said: “Mr Johnson has departed from the processes of the House and has impugned the integrity of the House by his statement.”

The cross-party privileges committee, led by Harman but with a Tory majority, has been assessing whether Johnson misled parliament with his statements claiming all COVID rules and guidance were followed by Number 10 during lockdown gatherings. Johnson faced the prospect of a by-election if MPs recommended a suspension from the Commons of 10 days or more as a punishment for lying.

Conservative MP Sir Michael Fabricant, who received a knighthood in Johnson’s resignation honours list on Friday, said the former Prime Minister had been the subject of “disgraceful treatment.” Richard Mills, chairman of Uxbridge & South Ruislip Conservative Association, praised Johnson’s commitment to the constituency over the last eight years as “outstanding.”

However, many MPs have welcomed Johnson’s departure. Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner said, “As Boris Johnson exits in disgrace, the British public are sick to the back teeth of this never-ending Tory soap opera played out at their expense.” Green MP Caroline Lucas tweeted that Johnson was evading scrutiny to the last and choosing to quit just hours after gifting gongs and peerages in an “atrocious act of patronage and sleaze.”

World News

Jamie Cartwright

Jamie is a keen traveler, writer, and (English) teacher. A few years after finishing school in the East Mids, UK, he went traveling around South America and Asia. Several teaching and writing jobs, he found himself at The Thaiger where he mostly covers international news and events.

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