Former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson resigns as a member of parliament with immediate effect.
Johnson made the move while attending an investigation by the House of Commons privileges committee, which is examining whether the former prime minister knowingly misled parliament about parties in breach of COVID rules held in Downing Street.
The resignation of Tory MP Johnson for Uxbridge and South Ruislip will trigger a by-election in a seat he held in 2019 with 7,210 votes.
In a statement, Johnson said the committee – whose results have yet to be published but which can recommend a suspension by the Commons – « has not yet produced a shred of evidence that I knowingly or recklessly misled » MPs.
He added: ‘They know full well that when I spoke in the House of Commons I was saying what I sincerely believed to be true and what I had been instructed to say, like any other minister. They know that I corrected the record as soon as possible; and they know that I and every other high official and minister – including the current Prime Minister and then occupant of the same building, Rishi Sunak – believed we were legally working together.
“I have been a deputy since 2001. I take my responsibilities seriously. I didn’t lie, and I think the Committee knows it in their hearts. But they have deliberately chosen to ignore the truth because from the outset their aim has not been to find out the truth, or to genuinely understand what was on my mind when I spoke in the House of Commons.
“Their aim from the beginning has been to find me guilty, regardless of the facts. This is the very definition of a kangaroo court. »
In response, a spokesman for the privileges committee said the group of MPs had « followed the procedures and mandate of the House at all times and will continue to do so ».
They added: “Mr. Johnson has walked away from the House processes and challenged the integrity of the House with his statement. The Committee will meet on Monday to conclude the investigation and promptly publish its report.