Former prime minister Boris Johnson is stepping down as a member of the House of Commons with immediate effect due to the ongoing ‘partygate’ investigation. He has handed in his seat with immediate effect. Johnson says he is being “forced out”.
Johnson was under fire for alleged partying during the corona crisis. He was allegedly involved in that when he was UK prime minister. There was much anger about this among his own Conservative Party and the people.
The partygate enquiry revolves around whether Johnson misled the House of Commons when he said partygoers were following all corona rules. According to the former prime minister, there is no evidence that he did anything wrong, but investigators think otherwise.
The former prime minister said in a statement on Friday that he had received a letter from the commission of enquiry. “In it, to my surprise, the committee makes it clear that it is determined to use the proceedings against me to expel me from parliament,” Johnson stated.
‘Handful of people force me out’
According to the former prime minister, many committee members judged too early and even before they had seen evidence of the alleged offences.
“It is very sad to leave parliament – at least for now,” Johnson said. “I am being forced out by a handful of people, with no evidence to back up their allegations and even no approval from members of the Conservative Party, let alone the wider electorate.”
Johnson previously admitted that he had not spoken the truth in the House of Commons, but he would not have done so deliberately. “I did not lie, and I believe the committee members know that in their hearts too,” he said.
Johnson’s resignation means a new election has to be organised in his Greater London constituency. It is not yet clear whether the former prime minister will participate in that election.
His party colleagues did not know Johnson wanted to resign, writes The Daily Telegraph. The former prime minister is reportedly not in the UK at the moment, but in Africa.
The partygate scandal is one of the reasons why Johnson had to resign as prime minister a year ago. Dissatisfaction within society was high, but even within his own Conservative Party there was no longer support for him.