Boris Johnson quits as MP over Partygate report findings

Yet-to-be-published report finds Johnson misled parliament over Covid lockdown parties at No.10
Boris Johnson. Photo: Lucy North/Alamy

By Tevye Markson

12 Jun 2023

Former prime minister Boris Johnson has said he will quit as an MP after receiving a report into claims he misled parliament over his knowledge over Partygate.

The Privileges Committee report has found that Johnson lied by telling parliament there were no parties in No.10 during the Covid lockdowns and recommended he be suspended for 10 days or more, according to various media reports. This punishment would have reached the threshold to potentially trigger a by-election, which will go ahead following Johnson’s resignation.

The committee previously said that evidence it had received, before interviewing Johnson for the inquiry, “strongly suggests that breaches of guidance would have been obvious to Johnson at the time he was at the gatherings”.

Johnson announced he would stand down as an MP after receiving a draft copy of the report on Friday, accusing the committee of “egregious bias”. He also called the committee a "kangaroo court".

"I take my responsibilities seriously. I did not lie, and I believe that in their hearts the committee know it,” the former PM said.

“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.”

Johnson has admitted to misleading parliament, but claims he did not knowingly do so.

The committee is set to publish the report in the coming days.

In response to Johnson's comments, levelling up secretary Michael Gove defended the committee, telling Sky News: "I think is it's a properly constituted committee of the House of Commons with distinguished and experienced MPs."

"I wouldn't describe the committee as a kangaroo court, not at all," he added.

Johnson resigned on the same day his resignation honours and peerages lists were confirmed.

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