(CMR) Boris Johnson has stepped down immediately as a Tory MP after receiving an advance copy of the Partygate report, which looked into parties held at Downing Street during the COVID-19 lockdown.
The report by the MP-led Privileges Committee looked into whether Johnson misled Parliament about the parties.
“This is the very definition of a kangaroo court,” he wrote in a fiery resignation statement, accusing the inquiry of trying to “drive me out.”
The report has not yet been published, but according to BBC, Johnson received a copy on Thursday and claimed it was “riddled with inaccuracies and reeks of prejudice.”
BBC reported that Johnson admitted to misleading Parliament when he gave evidence to the Privileges Committee in a contentious hearing in March but denied doing it on purpose.
He said social distancing had not been “perfect” at gatherings in Downing Street during the lockdowns but insisted the guidelines – as he understood them – were followed at all times.
His lengthy statement went on to criticize the direction of the current conservative government.
In it, he said: “I did not lie, and I believe that in their hearts the committee know it…They know perfectly well that when I spoke in the Commons, I was saying what I believed sincerely to be true and what I had been briefed to say, like any other minister,” he stated.
The former prime minister said he corrected the record immediately and claimed committee members “know that.”
He said the “current prime minister and then occupant of the same building, Rishi Sunak,” also believed they were “working lawfully together.”
He condemned the committee and claimed its “purpose from the beginning has been to find me guilty, regardless of the facts.”
Johnson's statement said: “It is very sad to be leaving Parliament – at least for now – but above all, I am bewildered and appalled that I can be forced out, anti-democratically, by a committee chaired and managed, by [Labour MP] Harriet Harman, with such egregious bias.”
His resignation will trigger a by-election in his Uxbridge and South Ruislip constituency.
Johnson was prime minister from July 2019 until September 2022 and has been an MP since 2001, with a break to serve as mayor of London between 2008 and 2016.