Less than four years after leading the Conservative Party to their biggest election victory since Thatcher, Boris Johnson has resigned as a Conservative MP with immediate effect, triggering a by-election in his constituency of Uxbridge and South Ruislip.
His resignation comes in light of the ‘Partygate’ report from the Privileges Committee, which found he misled the House about breaking his own coronavirus pandemic rules. The Committee recommended that Johnson face a 90-day suspension from Parliament.
Although Johnson chose to resign before the Committee acted, he did so with a defensive 1000-word statement where he accused the Privileges Committee of being a ‘kangaroo court’, blasted certain members of his party for conspiring to reverse Brexit, and directly criticised the current Conservative Party leadership for failing to be ‘properly conservative’.
In his statement, he added:
“I have been an MP since 2001. I take my responsibilities seriously. I did not lie, and I believe that in their hearts, the Committee know 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.
“Their purpose from the beginning has been to find me guilty, regardless of the facts. This is the very definition of a kangaroo court.”
After his resignation, close ally of Johnson and senior Conservative MP, Nadine Dorries, also stepped down
Following a difficult year for the Conservatives in the local elections, which according to polling expert John Curtice has made victory in the 2024 general election a ‘substantial challenge’, Johnson’s resignation has the potential to cause additional problems.
After his resignation, close ally of Johnson and senior Conservative MP, Nadine Dorries, also stepped down.
Despite this, the current Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has yet to engage with the resignation, and with attention being diverted to persistent high inflation and rising interest rates, his predecessor’s departure from parliament may ultimately be overshadowed.