Boris Johnson, the former British Prime Minister and member of the Conservative Party, has given up his Parliament seat.
“I am now being forced out of Parliament by a tiny handful of people, with no evidence to back up their assertions, and without the approval even of Conservative party members, let alone the wider electorate,” Johnson said in his official resignation statement.
His resignation comes amid a long ethics investigation into his behavior as Prime Minister that is expected to be released next week. Johnson’s decision was prompted after he was given a preview of the report.
“The Committee's report is riddled with inaccuracies and reeks of prejudice, but under their absurd and unjust process, I have no formal ability to challenge anything they say,” Johnson said in his official resignation statement.
Johnson went on to call the committee investigating his behavior “a kangaroo court”. This phrase insinuates that the committee is attempting to expel Johnson without enough evidence or a good reason.
“In retrospect, it was naïve and trusting of me to think that these proceedings could be remotely useful or fair,” Johnson said in his official resignation statement. “But I was determined to believe in the system, and in justice, and to vindicate what I knew to be the truth.”
The investigation will determine if he lied to fellow lawmakers about gatherings in government buildings that went against his own COVID-19 regulations. Johnson and other members of the Conservative Party, including Party Leader and the current Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, have received criminal fines for violating health guidelines and restrictions during the pandemic. The Partygate scandal triggered an investigation into his behavior as Prime Minister.
The fine was issued to the two Conservative members for attending a gathering in Downing Street during the COVID-19 lockdown. This fine made Johnson the first sitting UK Prime Minister to be found guilty of breaking the law.
Members of the opposition parties called the ordeal a “soap opera” and bid Johnson “good riddance”.
By resigning from parliament, Johnson has triggered a by-election in his Uxbridge and South Ruislip constituency. Two of his supporters, Nadine Dorries and Nigel Adams have resigned their seats with immediate effect, triggering by-elections in their seats as well. Considering how far the Tories are in the polls, it is likely that they will lose all three seats. Many speculate that this is a deliberate move by the MPs to put pressure on Sunak's leadership.
Opposition parties, particularly the Labour Party, have now called for a General Election to “end the chaos and instability” within the Tory party. The Labour Party’s Pat McFadden believes that the "Tory Party can't resolve its own chaos" and the Parliament must step in.
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