Former UK PM Boris Johnson quits as MP amid Partygate scandal

Johnson stressed probe committee failed to present evidence proving that he knowingly provided misleading information to Parliament

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Former UK PM Boris Johnson quits as MP amid Partygate scandal. AFP/File
Former UK PM Boris Johnson quits as MP amid Partygate scandal. AFP/File

Former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has decided to resign from his position as a Member of Parliament (MP).

The decision follows an investigation by the House of Commons' privileges committee regarding allegations that he misled Parliament about parties held during the COVID-19 lockdown in Downing Street, known as the Partygate scandal. Johnson expressed his dissatisfaction with the committee's inquiry, calling it a "kangaroo court" and accusing it of bias against him.

In a statement, Johnson emphasised that the committee has failed to present any evidence proving that he knowingly or recklessly provided misleading information to Parliament. He maintained that when he spoke in the Commons, he believed he was conveying the truth based on the information he had been provided, like any other minister. He also pointed out that he promptly corrected the record when necessary. 

Johnson firmly asserted his innocence and believed that the committee members themselves know it as well.

The former prime minister, who had been an MP since 2001, expressed his disappointment at the situation. He felt that the committee's primary objective from the outset was to find him guilty, regardless of the actual facts. Johnson defended his integrity and asserted that he did not lie. While stepping down as an MP, he did not rule out the possibility of a political comeback in the future.

The resignation comes amidst criticism directed at Johnson for alleged cronyism in his handling of honors and appointments. His recently released resignation honours list, which included nominations for peerages and knighthoods, faced backlash from critics who described it as a "catalogue of cronies."

Johnson's decision to leave Parliament immediately will trigger a by-election in his Uxbridge and South Ruislip constituency, which he won by a significant margin in the 2019 general election. The repercussions of the Partygate scandal and Johnson's resignation remain uncertain, leaving his political future in question.