Boris Johnson has resigned from the UK Parliament. Here’s what you need to know

Key points
  • Former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he is leaving Parliament “at least for now”.
  • The move will trigger a by-election for his marginal seat.
  • This follows a report on whether he misled the House of Commons about parties being held at number 10 during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson abruptly resigned as MP in a vehement protest against parliamentarians investigating his conduct and reopened divisions within the ruling Conservative Party ahead of national elections.

What led to the resignation of Boris Johnson?

Mr Johnson was under investigation as part of a parliamentary inquiry to find out if he misled the House of Commons about parties violating Downing Street’s lockdown during the Covid-19 pandemic.

After Mr. Johnson received a confidential letter from the committee, he accused the committee members who were investigating him of acting like a “kangaroo court” and determined to end their political careers.
“I am being ousted by a tiny handful of people with no evidence to support their claims and without the approval of even members of the Conservative Party, let alone the wider electorate,” Johnson said in a statement.

The Parliamentary Privileges Committee – the main disciplinary body for MPs – could recommend that Johnson be removed from Parliament.

What will happen next?

If the suspension lasts more than 10 days, voters in his constituency can request that he run for re-election to continue serving as their representative.
Johnson has hinted that he plans to return to frontline politics, saying he is leaving Parliament “for now”.
But the decision to step down could be the end of his 22-year political career, where he rose from parliament to mayor of London and then created a profile that tipped the scales in the 2016 European Union referendum in favor of Brexit.
Mr Johnson, whose premiership was partially interrupted by anger within his own party and across Britain over COVID-breaking parties at his Downing Street office and residence, said the committee had “not provided the slightest evidence” that that he deliberately or deliberately misled Parliament.

“I am not alone in thinking that there is a witch hunt going on to avenge Brexit and ultimately overturn the results of the 2016 referendum,” he said.

Who is investigating?

“My suspension is a necessary first step and I believe there has been a concerted effort to achieve this.”

The investigation is being led by a senior Labor MP, but most of the committee members are Conservatives.

A spokesman for Parliament said the committee did not immediately respond to Mr. Johnson’s statement.
The resignation will trigger a by-election in his west London constituency.
For Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, this is the second day after Johnson’s ally Nadine Dorris announced she was stepping down.

Angela Rayner, deputy leader of the Labor Party, said: “The British public is tired of this endless Tory soap opera being played at their expense.”

Who is Boris Johnson?

Mr Johnson came to power nearly four years ago with a promise to implement Brexit and save it from the bitter controversy that followed the 2016 referendum.
He brushed aside the fears of some fellow conservatives that his narcissism, inability to get to the bottom of the details, and reputation for trickery meant he was not a good fit.
Some Conservatives enthusiastically supported the former journalist and mayor of London, while others, despite reservations, supported him because he was able to appeal to a part of the electorate that usually rejected their party.
This was confirmed by the elections in December 2019.
But his administration’s belligerent and often chaotic approach to governance and scandals have sapped the goodwill of many of his deputies.

Opinion polls show that he is no longer popular with the general public.