In a surprising move, former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson resigned as a lawmaker after being informed that he will face sanctions for misleading Parliament. Johnson resigned after the conclusion of an investigation into his statements regarding the “partygate” scandal. Which involved rule-breaking government parties during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a lengthy resignation statement, Johnson expressed his belief that his political opponents were attempting to force him out. He suggested that his political career may not be over. He criticized the committee responsible for investigating him. Referring to it as a “kangaroo court” and accusing its members of being determined to find him guilty regardless of the facts.
As a result of Johnson’s resignation, a special election will be held to fill his seat in the House of Commons. Representing a suburban London constituency. Johnson’s political career has been marked by a series of scandals and comebacks. Although he led the Conservative Party to a landslide victory in 2019. He was eventually ousted by his party less than three years later.
Johnson’s Defense and Fallout
The investigation centred around Johnson’s misleading statements to Parliament. About gatherings in government buildings that violated pandemic lockdown rules. The revelations of late-night parties and other rule-breaking events led to fines being issued. Including one to Johnson himself, and ultimately contributed to the end of his premiership.
While Johnson acknowledged that he had misled Parliament, he maintained that it was not intentional. The fallout from this resignation has the potential to further strain tensions within the Conservative Party. Particularly about Johnson’s successor, Rishi Sunak.
He told the committee he “honestly believed” the five events he attended, including a send-off for a staffer and his surprise birthday party, were “lawful work gatherings” intended to boost morale among overworked staff members coping with a deadly pandemic.
The committee had been expected to publish its report in the next few weeks, and Johnson could have faced suspension from the House of Commons if he was found to have lied deliberately.