Former UK premier Boris Johnson resigns as MP
LONDON - Former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Friday his resignation as a member of parliament (MP) over claims he misled parliament about breaking Covid-19 rules.
Johnson said in a statement he is stepping down with immediate effect and maintained he did not lie, reported Anadolu Agency.
It came after he received a report from the MP-led Privileges Committee into whether he misled parliament about lockdown parties at Downing Street.
Noting he has been an MP since 2001, Johnson said he takes his responsibilities seriously.
"I did not lie, and I believe that in their hearts the committee know it,” he said. "I have received a letter from the Privileges Committee making it clear - much to my amazement - that they are determined to use the proceedings against me to drive me out of parliament.”
Johnson was accused of misleading parliament about lockdown parties held in Downing Street while the United Kingdom was under Covid-19 restrictions during the pandemic.
Meanwhile, the Privileges Committee will meet Monday to conclude its inquiry into whether Johnson misled MPs.
Home Secretary Priti Patel, who is known as "a key Johnson ally,” expressed support, saying he has served the country and his constituency "with distinction."
"He led world in supporting Ukraine, got Brexit done, and was our most electorally successful Prime Minister since Margaret Thatcher. Boris is a political titan whose legacy will stand the test of time," she wrote on Twitter.
Speaking before the committee in March, Johnson admitted misleading parliament, but denied doing it on purpose. "Hand on heart, I did not lie to the House,” he said.
Partygate was the name given to the scandal that saw dozens of parties held during the pandemic at the Prime Minister's Office and government departments that were exposed in the media.
Johnson, MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip since 2015, was ousted by his party MPs last July following a series of allegations. - BERNAMA-ANADOLU