Boris Johnson has resigned as an MP, warning that the “kangaroo court” investigating him over partygate is determined to find him guilty.
The former prime minister announced he is standing down in his Uxbridge and South Ruislip constituency ahead of the Privileges Committee report into whether he misled Parliament.
In an angry statement he accused the cross-party group of MPs of being biased and said he was “bewildered and appalled” that it was trying to force him out of parliament.
Mr Johnson also took a parting shot at Rishi Sunak, berating his successor for abandoning many of the pledges he made whilst in Downing Street.
The committee wrote a “warning letter” to Mr Johnson earlier this week outlining how it intends to criticise him in its final report.
It has been investigating whether he misled Parliament when he told MPs that there had been no lockdown parties in Downing Street.
The former prime minister said the committee had “still not produced a shred of evidence” that he “knowingly or recklessly” did so.
But “much to my amazement they are determined to use the proceedings to drive me out of Parliament”.
His resignation will trigger a second tricky by-election for Mr Sunak, after his close ally Nadine Dorries also quit the Commons earlier on Friday.
The Tories have a majority of just over 7,000 in the seat, which will now be a key target for Labour which came second in 2019.
In a lengthy resignation statement Mr Johnson said: “I did not lie, and I believe that in their hearts the committee know it.
“But they have wilfully chosen to ignore the truth because from the outset their purpose has not been to discover the truth, or genuinely to understand what was in my mind when I spoke in the Commons.
“Their purpose from the beginning has been to find me guilty, regardless of the facts. This is the very definition of a kangaroo court.”
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