‘Trumpian behaviour’: UK ex-PM Boris Johnson vows to stage a comeback soon

former UK prime minister made a dramatic exit last night after receiving the findings of a report investigating whether he had misled parliament regarding Covid lockdown parties

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Former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson delivers a speech on his last day in office, outside Downing Street, in London. — Reuters/File
Former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson delivers a speech on his last day in office, outside Downing Street, in London. — Reuters/File

Boris Johnson, who unceremoniously quit as a lawmaker on the night between Friday and Saturday, is facing accusations of exhibiting "Trumpian" behaviour following his suggestion that he might stage a comeback as a Member of Parliament (MP) and launch a fresh bid for leadership down the line, Independent reported.

The former UK prime minister made a dramatic exit after receiving the findings of a report investigating whether he had misled parliament regarding Covid lockdown parties.

In his resignation letter, Johnson criticised the direction of the government under Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and expressed his sadness at leaving the Commons, at least for the time being, thereby fueling speculation about a potential comeback.

Will Walden, Johnson's former spokesman, commented on BBC Radio 4 Today, likening the situation to Trumpian tactics.

Walden also indicated that Johnson had likely recognised the inevitable outcome of the Partygate inquiry, which reports suggest found him guilty of misleading parliament and recommended a lengthy suspension from the Commons.

Johnson had been under investigation by a parliamentary inquiry looking into whether he misled the house about lockdown-breaking parties in Downing Street during the COVID-19 pandemic.

After Johnson received a confidential letter from the committee, he accused lawmakers investigating him of acting like a "kangaroo court" and being determined to end his political career.

Accusing the committee of mounting a "political hit job", Johnson said in a statement: "I am being forced out by a tiny handful of people, with no evidence to back up their assertions."

Parliament's privileges committee - the main disciplinary body for lawmakers - had the power to recommend Johnson be suspended from parliament. If the suspension is for more than 10 days, voters in his constituency could have demanded he stood for re-election to continue as their representative.

Johnson hinted that he could return to politics, declaring he was leaving parliament "for now".

But the decision to resign may be the end of his 22-year political career, where he rose from parliament to mayor of London and then built a profile that tipped the balance of the 2016 European Union referendum in favour of Brexit.

Johnson, whose premiership was cut short in part by anger in his party and across Britain over COVID rule-breaking lockdown parties in his Downing Street office and residence, said the committee had not found "a shred of evidence" against him.

"I am not alone in thinking that a witch hunt is underway to take revenge for Brexit and ultimately to reverse the 2016 referendum result," he said. "My removal is the necessary first step, and I believe there has been a concerted attempt to bring it about."