Boris Johnson abruptly resigns from parliament

June 11, 2023
Robert Ayers

Former United Kingdom prime minister Boris Johnson has abruptly resigned from Parliament. 

Johnson did so in a statement that he released on Friday, according to the Independent.

Based on the contents of the statement, it is clear that Johnson's resignation was brought about by the investigation into what has become known as the Partygate scandal.

The investigation has apparently concluded, although the results of it have not been made public. And, it appears that the contents of a letter sent from the Privileges Committee, which led the investigation, to Johnson is what brought about Johnson's sudden resignation.

The Partygate scandal

The BBC reports that the committee has been investigating the Partygate scandal since April 2022.

For those unfamiliar with the scandal, the BBC explains:

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. 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.

In other words, during the COVID-19 pandemic, British politicians were holding parties that violated lockdown rules and Johnson misled Parliament about what was taking place.

In the letter that Johnson recently received from the committee, the committee told Johnson that he will be sanctioned for this, and this is why it is that he immediately resigned.

But, this does not mean that Johnson is simply throwing in the towel.

Johnson's defense

Instead, Johnson is mounting a serious defense against the accusations that he faces.

Johnson, in his resignation statement, stated that the committee has "not produced a shred of evidence that I knowingly or recklessly misled the Commons."

Johnson wrote:

[The committee knows] 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.

With all of this in mind, Johnson goes on to allege that the committee is essentially out to get him, that they are intent on finding him "guilty, regardless of the facts."

It is not immediately clear where this situation will go from here. But, Johnson's time in Parliament is up, at least for now.

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