LONDON (Reuters) – Former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s furious exit from Parliament over the collapse of parties over a Covid-19 lockdown sparked feverish speculation on Saturday about his future and that of his current government, with allies and foes trading barbs.
Johnson announced he was leaving as an MP on Friday, claiming he had been forced out by his political opponents.
The 58-year-old populist is under investigation by an inter-party committee over whether he knowingly lied to Parliament about parties while in office.
In evidence earlier this year, he insisted he hadn’t.
But as the committee prepares to make its findings public, he said they have contacted him “to make it clear… that they are determined to use the proceedings against me to remove me from Parliament”.
The Privileges Committee, which includes a majority of MPs from his Conservative party, has powers to impose sanctions for misleading Parliament, including suspension.
Normally, a suspension of more than 10 business days leads to a constituency by-election.
By resigning, Johnson is avoiding the consequences of a humiliating battle to remain an MP in his constituency of Uxbridge and South Ruislip in north-west London where he has a slim majority of just over 7,000.
He denounced the committee, chaired by veteran opposition Labor MP Harriet Harman, as a “kangaroo court”.
He said “It is very sad to leave Parliament – at least for the time being – but above all I am bewildered and appalled that I could be forced out, so anti-democratic…with such a blatant bias”.
He claimed that the commission’s report, which has not been published, is “full of inaccuracies and smells of bias,” adding that he “has no formal ability to contest anything they say.”
He said that “their aim from the beginning was to convict me, regardless of the facts”.
In response to the resignation, the Committee on Privileges said Johnson had “challenged the integrity of the House with his statement.”
‘Good riddance’
Pro-Johnson Nadine Dorris also resigned as MP, that is, the current Prime Minister Rishi SunakJohnson, whom Johnson partially blames for his downfall, faces a by-election while his party languishes at the polls.
Josunnon’s ability to generate strong likes and dislikes was reflected in the reaction to his shocking announcement.
The Daily Mirror likened him to “a criminal who refuses to appear in court for his sentence”.
Labor deputy leader Angela Rayner said the public – grappling with a cost of living crisis – was tired of the “never-ending Tory streak” while her smaller Liberal Democrat counterpart, Daisy Cooper, said “good riddance”.

But Johnson’s supporters rallied behind him and praised his accomplishments going forward Britain’s exit from the European Union And mobilize support for Ukraine.
The conservative-leaning newspaper The Sun hailed his “unique charisma and historic achievements” which “dwarfed those dwarfs who proceeded to oust him as an MP and so dreadfully succeeded”.
However, there was widespread agreement that Johnson would still loom large and be a problem for Sunak.
“He may have resigned from the position of deputy, but he made it clear in his statement that he does not see this as the end of his political career,” the newspaper wrote.
The BBC added, “The specter of Boris Johnson is haunting Rishi Sunak. He is the last thing the prime minister needs.”
Johnson led the Conservative Party to an overwhelming majority of 80 seats in the December 2019 general election on a promise to “finish Brexit”.
This allowed him to engage Parliament with his divorce deal with the European Union, weathering years of political paralysis.
But he backtracked on his handling of the Covid pandemic.”Partygateand a series of other scandals that led to a ministerial mutiny in July last year.
He resigned as prime minister and left office in September last year, although rumors persist that he wants another chance at the top job.

Once a senior on Johnson’s side who quit, Sunak has been trying to steady the ship since becoming prime minister in October, after a turbulent period for his former boss and a short-lived premiership. Liz Truss.
Johnson’s resignation is likely to be seen as revenge against Sunak, whose Conservative party is trailing sharply in opinion polls heading into next year’s general election.
“When I left office last year, the government was only a few points behind in opinion polls. Now that gap has widened dramatically,” Johnson said in his letter, criticizing Sunak.
Johnson became an MP in 2001 until 2008, then resigned to serve two four-year terms as Mayor of London. He became an MP again in 2015, and continued as Foreign Secretary under Theresa May.


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