Boris Johnson has announced that he will resign as an MP with immediate effect.
The former prime minister said he had received a letter from the commission investigating whether he lied to MPs about the party door “making it clear, to my surprise, that they are determined to use the procedure against me to expel me from Parliament”. .
Politics Live: Boris Johnson stops short of saying privileges committee wants to ‘kick me out of parliament’
Mr Johnson said: “I have written to my Uxbridge and South Ruislip association to say I am standing down with immediate effect and triggering an immediate by-election.
“I am very sorry to be leaving my wonderful constituency. It has been a great honor to serve them, both as mayor and councillor.
“But I am proud that, after a cumulative 15-year period, I have helped to deliver, among other things, a major new railway on the Elizabeth line and full funding for a wonderful new state-of-the-art hospital for Hillingdon , where enabling works have already been carried out. started”.
The cross-party privilege committee, chaired by Labor MP Harriet Harman, has been assessing whether Mr Johnson misled parliament with his statements claiming all rules and guidance on COVID were followed by No 10 during meetings blocking
A recommended suspension of the Commons of 10 days or more, if approved by MPs, would trigger a recall petition that would lead to a by-election if 10% of its constituents supported the measure.
Mr Johnson said the committee “has yet to produce one shred of evidence that I knowingly or recklessly misled the commons”.
“They know full well that when I spoke in the Commons I was saying what I honestly believed to be true and what I had been forced to say, like any other minister.”
He claimed that his purpose “from the beginning has been to find me guilty, regardless of the facts” and that there is “a witch hunt underway, to get revenge on Brexit and ultimately reverse the result of the 2016 referendum “.
“I am now being forced out of parliament by a small handful of people, with no evidence to support their claims, and without the approval of even members of the Tory party let alone the general electorate.”
Johnson also used his statement to launch a scathing attack on Rishi Sunak’s government.
“When I left office last year, the government was only a few points behind in the polls. That gap has widened massively,” he said.
“Just a few years after winning the largest majority in nearly half a century, that majority is now clearly at risk. Our party urgently needs to regain its momentum and its belief in what this country can do.”
Johnson throwing in the towel on his political career
It reads like a declaration of war, but it’s actually important today because Boris Johnson is simply throwing in the towel on his political career.
Since being dropped as Prime Minister, Boris Johnson has been a ghost in the Tory party. He sucked the oxygen out of the room, with the media and part of the Tory party still hanging on his every word as if it mattered.
A more sober analysis suggests not, and today’s decision is less about taking a public stand, and more an acknowledgment that it never ‘comes back’ and doesn’t have the support in Parliament to even make trouble-making fun.
In 12 months, today’s decision will be seen differently: as an inevitability, rather than simply the fallout from the privileges committee and its demand, it will face a by-election.
The massive gains, the fact that he would probably never have the numbers to run for leader given his tarnished reputation, are not reasons to stay. If he were to stay, he is likely to undermine the current and all future Conservative leaders through his magnanimous charm, shrewdness and annoying presence.
That is why, once again, he has voted in favor of leaving: preserving the myth, and not testing it with reality.
Johnson’s departure has been welcomed by opposition MPs.
Daisy Cooper, deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats, said two words in a statement: “Good riddance.”
Labour’s shadow secretary for Wales, Jo Stevens, tweeted something similar.
She wrote: “It’s always someone else’s fault. Good riddance to him.
“He has degraded the reputation of our country, our politics and our democracy. It is entirely his fault and no one else’s.”