Why did Boris Johnson resign as an MP?

Boris Johnson resigned as an MP and posted a lengthy statement. But why has the former Prime Minister stepped down?

Why did Boris Johnson resign as an MP f

“I am bewildered and appalled that I can be forced out"

On the evening of June 9, 2023, Boris Johnson resigned as a Conservative MP after an investigation into the Partygate statement found he had misled Parliament.

In a lengthy statement, the ex-PM accused the investigation of being a “kangaroo court” and of trying to “drive him out”.

Earlier in the day, Rishi Sunak approved Mr Johnson’s resignation honours list, which included more than 40 honours for some of Mr Johnson’s closest allies.

But his resignation comes shortly after Nadine Dorries’ resignation, which has triggered a by-election in the Mid Bedfordshire constituency.

Mr Johnson’s own departure will catalyse a by-election in his Uxbridge and South Ruislip constituency.

Why did he Resign?

Boris Johnson was sent the findings of the Privileges Committee’s investigation, which told him that it had found he had deliberately misled Parliament and would be recommending a sanction that would be enough to trigger a recall petition and potentially a by-election.

But Mr Johnson anticipated this and decided to resign, blaming the “proceedings”, which he said were being used to “drive me out of Parliament”.

He said in a statement: “I am bewildered and appalled that I can be forced out, anti-democratically, by a committee chaired and managed, by Harriet Harman, with such egregious bias.”

However, his career has been filled with scandals.

After leading the Tories to victory in 2019, he was ousted three years later following accusations of sleaze.

The “proceedings” refer to the conclusions over whether Mr Johnson misled Parliament about various gatherings that were in breach of the pandemic’s lockdown rules.

The Met Police issued 126 fines over events on eight dates in total as part of its investigation into the gatherings, including one to Mr Johnson.

The committee is expected to publish its report in the next few weeks.

One supportive Tory minister said Mr Johnson’s resignation was a “demonstration of his extraordinary leadership, defending democracy and his party, ensuring no vote is required which would cause a split”.

Mr Johnson said of the Privileges Committee: “They have still not produced a shred of evidence that I knowingly or recklessly misled the Commons.

“They know perfectly well that when I spoke in the Commons I was saying what I believed sincerely to be true and what I had been briefed to say, like any other minister.”

Defending his actions during the height of the Partygate scandal, Mr Johnson insisted that he “did not lie”, adding:

“I believe that in their hearts the Committee knows it.

“But they have wilfully chosen to ignore the truth because from the outset their purpose has not been to discover the truth, or genuinely to understand what was in my mind when I spoke in the Commons.”

Was he Forced Out?

The SNP’s deputy Westminster leader, Mhairi Black, said Boris Johnson “jumped before he was pushed”.

She said: “No one in Scotland will be sorry to see the back of him but he has also underlined the weakness of Rishi Sunak, who has no authority over the bitterly divided Tory Party.”

In his statement, Mr Johnson criticised Sue Gray, who led the investigation into the Partygate scandal, and who is due to start working for Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer.

Mr Johnson said he does not believe “that it is any coincidence” that she will soon be working for the Labour leader, adding he does not believe “that it is any coincidence that her supposedly impartial chief counsel, Daniel Stilitz KC, turned out to be a strong Labour supporter who repeatedly tweeted personal attacks on me and the Government”.

Will he Return?

Despite his announcement, Mr Johnson has hinted at a return to politics.

He said:

“I am very sad to be leaving parliament – at least for now.”

This prompted speculation he could stand in Nadine Dorries’ safe seat in a bid to stay in Westminster.

But in a sign of the divisions his decision will cause, one anti-Johnson Conservative told i:

“His statement is awful. A complete rewriting of history.

“MPs now need to decide whether they are going to let him take the Conservative Party down with him or use this opportunity to draw a line under the events of the last eighteen months which have not been our finest hour.”

Dhiren is a journalism graduate with a passion for gaming, watching films and sports. He also enjoys cooking from time to time. His motto is to “Live life one day at a time.”

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