Former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson handed over his mandate as an MP with a bang on Friday evening, citing the parliamentary inquiry into “partygate”, the parties held in Downing Street in violation of COVID-19 restrictions.
Boris Johnson, 58, has said his decision takes effect immediately, triggering a by-election that immediately ends any prospect of a return, but also highlights divisions within Tory power, worsening the difficulties of his successor Rishi Sunak one year before the next legislative elections.
A year after being ousted from Downing Street by his majority after three years in office marred by a succession of scandals, Mr Johnson remains under a parliamentary inquiry to determine whether he misled Parliament in the affair. from partygate.
A parliamentary inquiry is to say whether Boris Johnson lied to Parliament by repeatedly claiming that all health restrictions had been met in Downing Street.
The procedure, led by the privileges commission, is in the process of finishing its work and had just, according to the British press, submitted its conclusions to the former leader.
I have received a letter from the Privileges Committee which makes it clear – to my astonishment – that they are determined to use the procedure against me to oust me from Parliament, the former Tory Prime Minister wrote in a statement.
I am very sad to leave Parliament – at least for now – but above all I am appalled that I was forced to leave, in an undemocratic way, he added, accusing the committee of blatant bias.
In this very long communiqué, he criticizes the commission for having produced a report which has not yet been published, riddled with inaccuracies and reeking of prejudice, without giving him any formal possibility of contesting what they say.
Attack on the integrity of Parliament
Reacting to his resignation, the Privileges Committee said Mr Johnson had undermined the integrity of Parliament by his statements.
She also announced that she would meet on Monday to conclude her work and that she would publish her report soon.
In March, heard for more than three hours by the commission, Boris Johnson affirmed hand on heart that he had not lied to Parliament.
He was forced to resign last summer after a succession of scandals, the first of which were these parties in Downing Street during the confinements. He faced a series of resignations within his government, including that of Rishi Sunak.
But the charismatic leader, who was still an MP, remained very influential in the conservative majority. Boris Johnson, who is about to celebrate his 59th birthday and have his eighth child, has not hidden his desire to return to power, even if he has converted by speaking at conferences which bring him back million.
As he points out in his Friday evening statement, his resignation triggers an immediate by-election.
Earlier in the day, one of his closest allies, his former culture minister who was still an MP, Nadine Dorries, also announced her resignation with immediate effect.
A weakened party
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, in office since October, will thus find himself facing electoral tests that promise to be difficult at a time when the Conservatives are at their lowest in the polls, after 13 years in power.
At the beginning of May, the Conservatives had already suffered significant losses in local elections in England. Boris Johnson’s resignation is likely to be seen as revenge against Rishi Sunak.
The former leader also curbs the government in his press release.
When I left office last year, the government was only a handful of points behind in the polls. This gap has now widened considerably, he writes.
Just a few years after winning the largest majority in nearly half a century [his election in 2019, editor’s note], this majority is now clearly threatened, he criticizes. Our party urgently needs to regain momentum and faith in what this country can do.
Labor’s Angela Rayner was quick to react on Twitter. As Boris Johnson steps down in disgrace, Britons are fed up with this endless Tory soap opera playing out at their expense.
And to add: After thirteen years of conservative chaos, enough is enough. It’s time for a fresh start for Britain with a Labor government.
This article is originally published on ici.radio-canada.ca