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Partygate:#Boris Johnson releases statement after he’s ‘forced out’ …



Boris Johnson is to step down as an MP with immediate effect after receiving the Partygate report.

That report by the MP-led Privileges Committee looked into whether he misled Parliament over lockdown-breaking parties at Downing Street.


Mr Johnson accused the Commons inquiry of attempting to “drive me out”.

In a statement he said: “They have still not produced a shred of evidence that I knowingly or recklessly misled the Commons.”


Earlier on Friday, he received a copy of the yet-to-be-published report, which he claimed was “riddled with inaccuracies and reeks of prejudice”.

In evidence given to the Privileges Committee in March, Mr Johnson admitted misleading Parliament, but denied doing it on purpose.


He said social distancing had not been “perfect” at gatherings in Downing Street during Covid lockdowns.

He insisted the guidelines – as he understood them – were followed at all times.

Announcing he would step down, the former prime minister issued a lengthy statement on Friday evening in which he said: “I did not lie, and I believe that in their hearts the committee know it.”


“They know perfectly well that when I spoke in the Commons I was saying what I believed sincerely to be true and what I had been briefed to say, like any other minister,” he said.

Mr Johnson said he corrected the record as soon as possible, and claimed committee members “know that”.


He said the “current prime minister and then occupant of the same building, Rishi Sunak” also believed they were “working lawfully together”.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson delivers a farewell address before his official resignation at Downing Street on 6 September 2022 in London, EnglandIMAGE SOURCE,GETTY IMAGES
Image caption,
Mr Johnson claims his removal is a “necessary first step” in attempts by some to reverse the 2016 Brexit result

Mr Johnson’s statement said: “It is very sad to be leaving Parliament – at least for now – but above all I am bewildered and appalled that I can be forced out, anti-democratically, by a committee chaired and managed, by [Labour MP] Harriet Harman, with such egregious bias.”

He claimed his “removal” was the “necessary first step” by some who oppose him, “to take revenge for Brexit and ultimately to reverse the 2016 referendum result”.


His resignation will trigger a by-election in his constituency of Uxbridge and South Ruislip.

Mr Johnson was prime minister from July 2019 until September 2022, and has been an MP since 2001.


BBC political editor Chris Mason said not only was Mr Johnson giving up as an MP, but he was “doing so in an explosive manner – taking a direct pot shot at Prime Minister Rishi Sunak as he does so”.

Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner condemned what she called “this never-ending Tory soap opera played out” at the expense of the British public.

For the Liberal Democrats, deputy leader Daisy Cooper said: “Good riddance.”


SNP deputy Westminster leader Mhairi Black said Mr Johnson “jumped before he was pushed”, adding “no-one in Scotland will be sorry to see the back of him”.

Reacting to the resignation statement, Boris Johnson’s local Conservative association chairman, Richard Mills, said the former PM “has delivered on his promises to local residents”.


Earlier on Friday Mr Johnson’s resignation honours list was published, in which a number of sitting MPs featured.

One of them, Michael Fabricant, criticised the Privileges Committee for what he called its “disgraceful treatment” of the former prime minister.


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