BORIS Johnson has quit as an MP and claims that he’s been driven “out of parliament” after receiving the report into whether he lied to MPs over breaking COVID-19 rules amid lockdown.
Johnson, 58, said in a statement that the privileges committee – which has been investigating his behaviour during lockdown – has made clear “that they are determined” to kick him out of parliament.
He said: “I have written to my association in Uxbridge and South Ruislip to say that I am stepping down forthwith and triggering an immediate by-election.
“I am very sorry to leave my wonderful constituency. It has been a huge honour to serve them, both as Mayor and MP.”
Johnson has been accused of misleading parliament by insisting that all COVID rules were followed at Downing Street during his infamous lockdown gatherings.
The former prime minister – who left office in September – claims that the committee “have still not produced a shred of evidence that I knowingly or recklessly misled the Commons”.
He explained: “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.”
Johnson claims to be the victim of a “witch hunt”.
He said: “I am now being forced out of parliament by a tiny handful of people, with no evidence to back up their assertions, and without the approval even of Conservative party members let alone the wider electorate.”
Meanwhile, Johnson also used his statement to slam current Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and his government.
He said: “When I left office last year the government was only a handful of points behind in the polls. That gap has now massively widened.
“Just a few years after winning the biggest majority in almost half a century, that majority is now clearly at risk. Our party needs urgently to recapture its sense of momentum and its belief in what this country can do.”