Boris Johnson, the former British Prime Minister, has resigned as a member of Parliament amidst a controversial investigation related to his behavior during his tenure as Prime Minister. The move, announced on Friday, June 9th, comes as he faces an inquiry for allegedly misleading lawmakers about lockdown-breaking parties in a scandal known as “Partygate.”
Johnson referred to the parliamentary committee responsible for the investigation as a “kangaroo court” in his departure statement. He stated, “They are determined to use the proceedings against me to drive me out of Parliament.” This revelation came as a result of a letter from the House of Commons committee, which left Johnson feeling “bewildered and appalled.”
This shocking resignation allows Johnson to write the script to the end of his political career himself, a move seen as avoiding public rejection. However, the opposition parties termed this turmoil a “soap opera,” expressing a sentiment of “good riddance.”
The former Conservative party leader maintained that the incorrect and misleading accounts he gave Britain’s legislators about the “lockdown parties” were unintentional. Johnson and other high-ranking officials, including the current Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, were previously fined for violating pandemic regulations during these gatherings.
Johnson criticized Sunak’s government in his resignation statement, asserting that since his departure last year, the government’s position has “now massively widened” in the polls. His supporters believe that Johnson’s upbeat personality and charisma would have secured a victory at the next election had he remained in power.
However, during his tenure, Johnson’s personal behavior became problematic for much of the public and many in Parliament. Eyewitness accounts, photographs, and other evidence about the parties incited fury among British citizens, weary from the COVID-19 pandemic and angered by the apparent hypocrisy of those in power. This controversy dominated Britain’s politics, obstructing his legislative agenda and further fragmenting the Conservatives.
Johnson eventually apologized and narrowly remained in post despite the discontent among his fellow lawmakers. However, another scandal involving allegations of sexual assault by a close parliamentary colleague led to several resignations from his government and, subsequently, his departure from Downing Street.
Despite the turmoil, Johnson remains optimistic. He has described himself as a victim of “a witch hunt,” with the alleged goal of reversing the 2016 Brexit referendum result. As a man who has bounced back from successive scandals before, he has left the door open for his potential return to frontline politics.