The “Partygate” affair about illegal lockdown celebrations is catching up with Boris Johnson. The British ex-Prime Minister is resigning from Parliament with immediate effect. But that’s not the end of the saga.
British ex-Prime Minister Boris Johnson has lied to the House of Commons, according to a parliamentary committee. He is therefore stepping down as a member of parliament with immediate effect, as Johnson announced on Friday evening. At the same time, he stressed that he had no understanding of the committee’s allegations in the scandal surrounding illegal lockdown celebrations in Downing Street. The committee on the “Partygate” affair, in which MPs from Johnson’s Conservative Party are also represented, recommended suspending the ex-Prime Minister for ten days, British media reported unanimously. The case should also burden the current Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
Johnson said he was very sad to be leaving Parliament, at least for the time being. But he was “pushed out of Parliament with outrageous bias” in an “anti-democratic manner” by a committee chaired by a Labor Party politician. It has been an honor to serve as both MP and Mayor of London, the statement said. Johnson’s north-west London constituency is set to hold a by-election amid a slump in the polls for the Conservative Tories.
Strong criticism of Sunak
Johnson clearly criticized his successor Sunak. When he left Downing Street in the summer of 2022, the Tories were only just behind the strongest opposition party, Labor, in polls. “That gap has gotten much bigger now,” Johnson said. Polls are currently pointing to a crushing defeat for the Conservatives in the parliamentary elections planned for 2024. Johnson still has many supporters, especially at the party’s grassroots level, in contrast to Sunak, whom many members see as the populist’s “regicide.” The move exposes the internal disputes within the Conservative Party, commented the TV broadcaster Sky News.
The parliamentary committee had previously handed over the results of the investigation to Johnson. The members of the Privileges Committee had given the 58-year-old two weeks to reply, the BBC reported on Friday. The “warning letter” lists points of criticism and relevant evidence, as well as the punishment that the deputies want to recommend. With his resignation, Johnson is now forestalling a vote in the House of Commons.
Lying to Parliament?
The committee is investigating whether Johnson lied to Parliament over the Downing Street illegal lockdown party scandal – and has now apparently answered in the affirmative. During the corona pandemic, government workers had repeatedly met in Downing Street and authorities to celebrate with alcohol and music, contrary to regulations. Johnson and Sunak were each fined for attending an event. The ex-prime minister stressed that the committee had not presented a “snippet” of evidence of his misconduct.
As it became known shortly before Johnson’s resignation, the Brexit champion rewarded several confidants and employees from the “Partygate” affair with seats in the House of Lords and royal honors. This is according to Johnson’s “Prime Minister’s Resignation Honors List” published on Friday evening. His former office manager Martin Reynolds, who hosted an illegal lockdown party at Downing Street with a request to bring your own alcohol, also receives a royal title.
Like all outgoing prime ministers, Johnson, who resigned in September 2022 under pressure from his party, can nominate new members for the House of Lords or nominate them for honors. The opposition criticized Johnson for abusing tradition for nepotism. Former employees of Johnson were also outraged.
I have been working in the news industry for over 6 years, first as a reporter and now as an editor. I have covered politics extensively, and my work has appeared in major newspapers and online news outlets around the world. In addition to my writing, I also contribute regularly to 24 Hours World.