Boris Johnson, former UK prime minister, suddenly resigns

 June 10, 2023

Boris Johnson, the former prime minister of the United Kingdom, has announced that he is resigning from Parliament. 

Johnson unexpectedly announced his resignation in a statement that he released on Friday. The statement has been published in its entirety by the Independent.

Johnson's resignation from the House of Commons appears to have been precipitated by a Privileges Committee investigation that found that Johnson misled Parliament about lockdown-breaking parties that were held during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The precise findings of the Privileges Committee's report have yet to be publicly released.

What happened?

According to the BBC, the Privileges Committee has been investigating what has become known as the Partygate scandal since April 2022.

"After media stories about what would become known as the Partygate scandal emerged in late 2021, Mr. Johnson denied to MPs that Covid rules banning socializing indoors had been broken," the BBC reports.

The outlet adds, "But an inquiry by senior official Sue Gray later found rule-breaking had taken place across multiple events, and police issued fines to 83 people, including Mr. Johnson himself, for breaching Covid laws."

Johnson has revealed that he has recently received a letter from the Privileges Committee indicating that he would be sanctioned for misleading Parliament with regard to the Partygate scandal.

And, this appears to be the impetus behind Johnson's sudden resignation.

Johnson's resignation statement

In his resignation statement, Johnson disputed the findings of the Privileges Committee, saying, "They have still not produced a shred of evidence that I knowingly or recklessly misled the Commons."

Johnson continues:

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. They know that I corrected the record as soon as possible; and they know that I and every other senior official and minister - including the current Prime Minister and then occupant of the same building, Rishi Sunak - believed that we were working lawfully together.

Johnson went on to accuse the committee of having the "purpose" of finding him "guilty, regardless of the facts." Accordingly, he referred to the committee as a "kangaroo court."

"The Committee’s report is riddled with inaccuracies and reeks of prejudice but under their absurd and unjust process I have no formal ability to challenge anything they say," Johnson writes.

Johnson, now, appears poised to mount a vigorous defense against the allegations of the committee. In fact, he has already published his defense, which can be found here.

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