The reaction to Boris Johnson’s abrupt exit from the UK Parliament where he was previously Prime Minister has been as polarised as you would expect of a politician who, according to his allies remained a unique election-winner and singlehandedly led the nation through Brexit and the Covid pandemic but, to his critics, signified deceit, corruption and all that is wrong with modern politics.
His former Home Secretary Priti Patel – who has been made a Dame in Johnson’s resignation honours list – said:
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“Boris Johnson has served our 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.”
And fellow Conservative MP Michael Fabricant, who has been knighted, called his departure:
‘Disgraceful treatment of a political leader who has made world history.’
Another MP on that side of the Chamber, Andrea Jenkyns, wrote in a leaked WhatsApp message, quoted by the Spectator magazine:
“The blob has won, Boris the best PM since Thatcher.”
Unsurprisingly, members of the opposition Labour were not so crestfallen.
Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner said:
“The British public are sick to the back teeth of this never-ending Tory soap opera played out at their expense. After 13 years of Conservative chaos, enough is enough.”
Daisy Cooper, the Liberal Democrats’ deputy leader, called Johnson’s departure “good riddance.”
While even his fellow Conservative Gavin Barwell, chief of staff to Johnson’s predecessor as PM Theresa May reflected:
“This is straight out of his mate Trump’s playbook – no contrition, conspiracy theories and an aversion to the truth.”
Johnson resigned from Parliament on Friday with immediate effect, following the imminent publication of a report based on an inquiry into his conduct as Prime Minister during the Covid lockdown. He had previously given answers to a committee as to the extent of socialising that went on at his office in 10 Downing Street at a time when the nation was in strict lockdown but, as his statement yesterday made clear, still believes he has done nothing wrong, and called the inquiry a “witch hunt.”
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