UNITED KINGDOM — On Friday, Boris Johnson shocked Britain by announcing he was stepping down from his seat in parliament. One of Britain’s most controversial MPs has left office, prompting a by-election for the House of Commons seat he held in west London. Johnson resigned as prime minister before the results of an ethics investigation into his conduct became public. In a lengthy letter explaining his resignation, Johnson, who was removed from his post as prime minister less than a year ago, claimed the inquiry was aimed at ‘kicking me out of Parliament’, adding that it would not had “not produced any evidence that I knowingly or recklessly misled the Commons.
Johnson’s “Partygate” scandal was at the center of the investigation, which was conducted by a parliamentary committee. The story centers on allegations that Johnson misled MPs by hosting parties at 10 Downing Street despite widespread recommendations to stay indoors due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Politically, it seems likely the committee will “recommend a suspension from the Commons” for Johnson, although the exact report has not been released. This investigation, Johnson continued, was “the very definition of kangaroo court.”
Johnson claimed he resigned after seeing a summary of the committee’s findings, although he gave no further explanation. “They know full well that when I spoke in the Commons I was saying what I sincerely believed to be true and what I had been instructed to say, like any other minister,” Johnson’s statement read. Moreover, he said he had “corrected the record as soon as possible”, saying: “I and all other senior officials and ministers, including the current Prime Minister and then occupant of the same building, Rishi Sunak believed that we were working together legally.”