Bye, bye Boris (again!)

Boris Johnson resigned from the UK parliament before the release of a report that would say that he had violated norms by lying to the House of Commons. Such an action would trigger a 90-day suspension and Johnson clearly did not want to face that ignominy so he quit.

Boris Johnson deliberately misled parliament over Partygate and was part of a campaign to abuse and intimidate MPs investigating him, a long-awaited report by the privileges committee has found.

In an unprecedented move, the cross-party group said he “closed his mind to the truth” and would have faced a 90-day suspension from the Commons had he not quit in rage at its conclusions last week.

Johnson was also found to have knowingly misled the committee itself, breached Commons rules by partially leaking its findings last Friday, and undermined the democratic processes of parliament.

As a result, it was recommended Johnson be banned from getting the pass granted to ex-MPs that allows them privileged access to the Westminster estate.

Johnson was originally set to face a suspension from parliament of 20 days – enough to trigger a recall petition that would have probably led to a byelection. But the committee said his blistering attempts to intimidate it last Friday would have increased the punishment to 90 days.

Two MPs on the committee – one Labour and the other from the SNP – had pushed for Johnson to be expelled from parliament. But the final report and punishment was signed off unanimously by all seven members.

Johnson rode to power largely based on just one issue, that of leading the charge for Brexit. He clearly has modeled himself on serial sex abuser Donald Trump (SSAT) and seemed to think that as prime minister he could violate norms and then when called out on it, would claim that he was being victimized by political opponents and the deep state who were against his policies. Unlike SSAT though, he has lost the support of his party establishment. After initially calling for his supporters to vote against the report, he has now called off that effort, probably because he feared that the number supporting him would be small, adding further insult to injury.

Boris Johnson called off his parliamentary supporters threatening to vote against the finding that he misled parliament, as he appeared to run out of road in his battle over the Partygate scandal.

The former prime minister asked his allies not to oppose a motion in the House of Commons on Monday endorsing the findings of the privileges committee, which found he deliberately misled parliament and was part of a campaign to intimidate MPs investigating him.

Johnson has lashed out at the committee as a “kangaroo court” and strongly rejected its findings. But he told his small band of allies in parliament that there was no point in voting against the report, because it would have no practical consequences.

Some in the Conservative party clearly think that he is damaging the party and are hoping that he will now just shut the hell up, something that is unlikely with such an arrogant jerk with a strong sense of entitlement.

“It’s all extremely depressing, all this tearing each other apart,” says one Tory MP and former minister whose career thrived under Boris Johnson but who now holds no candle for his former boss.

“Most of us just want a period of silence from him so we can get on with saving what we can before the next election. But there’s not very much chance of that happening.”

This is the prevalent view among Tory MPs, many of whom backed Johnson for leader despite knowing his flaws and history of lying.

They have fallen out of love with Johnson more comprehensively than grassroots party members, having had ringside seats at the circus of his premiership.

Fewer than 10 of 350 Conservative MPs came out publicly in support of Johnson on the day the privileges committee report found he had misled parliament over Partygate.

One of his few remaining supporters is Jacob Rees-Mogg, someone who epitomizes Upper Class Twit. It appears that Johnson has awarded him a knighthood on his way out even though, as far as I know, he has not done anything worthwhile in is life, instead just drifting along on the crest of privilege and entitlement.

It seems like Johnson’s path back to power is closed. Unlike in the US where SSAT can appeal to the public over the party establishment and win the nomination, in the UK the road back to party leader begins with being a member of parliament and the party can block his nomination as a candidate to a constituency at the next election.

So it looks like Johnson has been consigned to permanent political irrelevancy.

Jonathan Pie has something to say about his exit from parliament.


  1. Rupert says

    I make no comment on the BJ affair, but a correction might be due.

    You write “…as far as I know, he (Rees Mogg) has not done anything worthwhile in is life, instead just drifting along on the crest of privilege and entitlement.”

    Wikipedia, however, states that Rees Mogg worked “in the City of London and in Hong Kong for Lloyd George Management until 2007, when he co-founded the hedge fund management business Somerset Capital Management LLP. (Warren Buffet comes to mind) and he amassed a significant fortune.

  2. says

    So it looks like Johnson has been consigned to permanent political irrelevancy.

    I’m sure the GOP can find a place for him on this side of the pond. He might not be quite “conservative” enough for the true believers, though.

  3. Pierce R. Butler says

    It appears that Johnson has awarded him a knighthood on his way out …

    A single MP can do that? England must have hordes of them galloping around by now.

  4. Mano Singham says

    Rupert @#1,

    I am afraid I am not impressed by that aspect his biography. People who come from influential families in the UK have their paths smoothed for them from infancy. He attended elite public schools which cleared the way to Oxford which then opened the doors into ‘the City’ (as the financial sector in the UK is called). That is a standard career path. It is a world in which whom you know (which means the contacts that your family have and the ones you made in the elite institutions) means a lot because it gives you easy and immediate access to the oligarchy and their wealth.

    The importance of that elite pedigree cannot be over-emphasized. I am a big fan of Monty Python (from where I got the Upper Class Twit label) but when you read how they got their start at the BBC, you realize how important it was that they attended Oxford and Cambridge because senior people at the BBC from those same universities were willing to give them a chance before they had proven themselves.

  5. sonofrojblake says

    Favourite quote from that article, from a tory mp…
    “There are a few diehards who still think [Boris] is the best electoral asset we have ever had. But if they analysed things more thoroughly they would discover that that person was in fact [former leader of the Labour Party and noted anti-Semitism tolerater] Jeremy Corbyn”

  6. Matt G says

    Bruce Lee perfected the art of fighting without fighting. SSAT and Boris have (or will) perfect the art of leaving without leaving.

  7. Holms says

    Fewer than 10 of 350 Conservative MPs…

    So 9… 8… 7…? Even 0?? Just say the fucking number!

  8. rupert says

    Dear Mano,
    I wouldn’t construct a view of the world based on Monty Pylon (clever as it is). If you want a more detailed and perhaps more rounded view of the upper class twit concept, I would suggest reading P.G Wodehouse.

    I don’t think you can victimise someone just because of where they were born. A judgement should be based on what they do with the rest of their life. Buffett, for example, did not exactly have a hard start to life: his father was member of Congress.
    And I am not so naive as to think that injustices are limited to the class system (the old boys’ club) in the UK. In Italian universities, for example, there is a total lack of meritocracy – many have to leave the country to get work. And those that don’t often have to become ‘slaves’ to their tenured baron masters;; acting as bag holders -- and in the case of pretty women often having to spread their legs -- to become possible candidates for positions. And national competitions for these places are only publicly announced when the candidate is ‘ready’, So the whole process is carefully guided to get the desired result.
    And if your face doesn’t fit, you won’t get very far in the UK university system, either. I suspect it is much the same in the US.

    And In Italy, the practice is by no means limited to universities; it spills over into industry, too.

  9. says

    @sonofrojblake, #6: Jeremy Corbyn was absolutely not antisemitic. He offered legitimate criticism of the apartheid Israeli régime, and proposed taxes on billionaires — some of whom took this to be related to their professed faith, as opposed to the fact of them having too much money.

  10. sonofrojblake says

    @bluerizlagirl -- read #6 again. I was VERY careful not to say Corbyn is anti-semitic, because that’s in the realm, I think, of opinion. (My opinion -- he definitely is, but that’s irrelevant).

    What i called him was “noted anti-Semitism tolerater”. If you’re going to try to argue that that very well established fact isn’t true, then you are Diane Abbot And I Claim My Five Pounds.

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