Boris Johnson resigns as MP with immediate effect after Partygate report

The former Prime Minister said he was quitting his seat because he was 'appalled' at the investigation into him.

Boris Johnson resigns as MP with immediate effect after receiving Partygate report Flickr

Boris Johnson has announced he is standing down as an MP with immediate effect, triggering a by-election.

The former Prime Minister said he was quitting his seat because he was “bewildered and appalled” at the Privileges Committee’s investigation into him.

He was under investigation about whether he knowingly misled the House of Commons over lockdown-breaking parties at Downing Street.

In a statement on Friday, Johnson accused the inquiry of attempting to “drive me out”.

He wrote: “I have received a letter from the Privileges Committee making it clear – much to my amazement – that they are determined to use the proceedings against me to drive me out of parliament.

“They have still not produced a shred of evidence that I knowingly or recklessly misled the Commons.”

“I did not lie, and I believe that in their hearts the committee know it,” he added.

In evidence given to the committee in March, Johnson admitted misleading Parliament, but denied doing it on purpose.

He added: “I have today written to my association in Uxbridge and South Ruislip to say that I am stepping down forthwith and triggering an immediate by-election.

“I am very sorry to leave my wonderful constituency. It has been a huge honour to serve them, both as mayor and MP.”

Johnson wrote: “It is very sad to be leaving parliament, at least for now, but above all I am bewildered and appalled that I can be forced out, anti-democratically, by a committee chaired and managed, by Harriet Harman, with such egregious bias.”

It comes shortly after Johnson’s resignation honours list was announced, which has been criticised for its inclusion of staff involved in the Partygate scandal.

He also used his resignation statement to deliver an attack on Rishi Sunak’s Government.

“When I left office last year the government was only a handful of points behind in the polls. That gap has now massively widened,” he said.

“Just a few years after winning the biggest majority in almost half a century, that majority is now clearly at risk. Our party needs urgently to recapture its sense of momentum and its belief in what this country can do.

“We need to show how we are making the most of Brexit and we need in the next months to be setting out a pro-growth and pro-investment agenda.

“We need to cut business and personal taxes – and not just as pre-election gimmicks – rather than endlessly putting them up. We must not be afraid to be a properly Conservative government.

“Why have we so passively abandoned the prospect of a Free Trade Deal with the US? Why have we junked measures to help people into housing or to scrap EU directives or to promote animal welfare?

“We need to deliver on the 2019 manifesto, which was endorsed by 14 million people. We should remember that more than 17 million voted for Brexit.”

SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn MP said: “Good riddance. No one in Scotland will shed a tear to see the back of Boris Johnson.

“The SNP will be working hard for every vote at the next election, so Scotland can get rid of these rotten Tory governments for good with independence.”

The SNP’s deputy Westminster leader Mhairi Black said Boris Johnson had “jumped before he was pushed”.

She said: “Boris Johnson has jumped before he was pushed, and no one in Scotland will be sorry to see the back of him but he has also underlined the weakness of Rishi Sunak, who has no authority over the bitterly divided Tory party.

“Sunak has been utterly humiliated. On the day he was forced to accept Johnson’s dodgy honours list to shore up his position, his predecessor has stuck two fingers up at him and reminded everyone that Sunak was unable to take action for fear of a leadership challenge.

“This sordid Tory scandal is yet another reminder of how broken and corrupt the Westminster system is – and why it is essential that Scotland becomes an independent country, so we can escape Westminster control and get rid of unelected Tory governments for good.”

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