Ex-Prime Minister Johnson at the door of 2021 Downing Street in March 10
Photo: Andy Rain / EPA
Boris Johnson's resignation from the British House of Commons has stirred up the country's political scene. The conservative ex-prime minister announced on Friday evening that he would give up his mandate as a member of parliament – immediately.
The reason for this was allegations by a parliamentary committee that Johnson had lied to the House of Commons in the "Partygate affair". It was about illegal lockdown parties during his tenure in 10 Downing Street, the seat of the Prime Minister.
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According to the information, the committee wanted to speak out in favour of a ten-day suspension of Johnson from parliament. Although the report is not yet public, Johnson said he had received a letter from the panel. This shows that they want to push him out of parliament.
The deputy leader of the Labour Party, Angela Rayner, called Johnson a "coward". The ex-prime minister could have "defended himself and fought against the suspension". But he knows, Rayner claims, that the committee has seen through him.
Rayner explained that when people were not allowed to meet their loved ones during the pandemic, Johnson celebrated and lied to people. "That's unforgivable." This is reported by the »Guardian«.
Johnson had sharply criticized the investigation in his message. The committee had presented "not the slightest evidence" that he, as prime minister, had misled the House of Commons: "I did not lie."
The committee had "deliberately chosen to ignore the truth". From the outset, the goal was to "declare myself guilty regardless of the facts." The whole thing is a "sham court". A "witch hunt" is underway, they want to take revenge on him for the Brexit.
Revenge for Brexit?
In the course of the Brexit referendum in 2016, Johnson spoke out in favour of the British leaving the EU. He served as Prime Minister from 2019 to 2022.
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Johnson indirectly criticized Rishi Sunak, the incumbent prime minister. When Sunak took office in 2022, the opposition Labour Party had only a slight lead in the polls. This has now grown massively.
Chris Bryant, the chairman of the parliamentary committee, spoke of a "narcissistic rant" by Johnson. Bryant threatened the ex-head of government with charges of contempt of parliament.
The leader of the opposition Liberal Democrats, Ed Davey, reproached Johnson for jumping before he was pushed. "He was never fit to be a member of parliament, let alone prime minister of our great country."
Angry and convinced
Johnson's former spokesman Will Walden said, according to the Guardian: "I have a feeling that he is angry and convinced of his own truth." This feels "Trumpian", an expression in reference to former US President Donald Trump.
Johnson received support from parts of his own party. Two Conservative MPs also declared their resignation from parliament in solidarity with him: Nadine Dorris and Nigel Adams. In the constituencies of the three renegades, new elections will now have to be held in order to find successors. In view of the polls, the Labour Party is likely to see a chance of winning seats.
Johnson left a comeback open in the announcement of his departure. He was "very sad to leave parliament – at least for the time being".