Boris Johnsons hopes for a comeback must surely now be futile ones

Logo The GuardianThe Guardian
2023-06-09 20:39:01  • 4 mins

When Boris Johnson sat down to draft his resignation statement after learning the privileges committee had concluded that he lied to MPs over Partygate, he was determined to leave his enemies on both sides of the Commons a clear message.

It is very sad to be leaving parliament, he wrote. At least for now That he still harbours hopes of a comeback despite the damage that he has done to his own reputation, the Conservative party brand and to the country more widely should surprise nobody.

Since he announced in July 2022 that he was quitting as prime minister, Johnson has made no secret of the fact that he felt he had nothing wrong and so had been treated unfairly. I am bewildered and appalled that I can be forced out, he said.

Yet despite much speculation about the outcome of the privileges committee inquiry, few expected Johnson to go so quickly.

It is likely that he did so taking Westminster by surprise on a day on which his resignation honours list had already dominated the news so that he could walk on his own terms, rather than face being forced out by MPs or, even worse, his own constituents.

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