Boris Johnsons resignation statement what he really meant

Logo The GuardianThe Guardian
2023-06-10 09:43:10  • 8 mins

Boris Johnsons statement announcing he will quit the Commons is not brief more than 1,000 words and, as ever with the former prime ministers pronouncements, there is a lot of often barely hidden subtext:

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.

They have still not produced a shred of evidence that I knowingly or recklessly misled the Commons.

This is Johnson trying to preshape opinion about the privileges committee report into whether he lied to MPs about lockdown-breaking parties, which he has seen but is not yet public. This is the statements key message: whatever the evidence, Johnson and his allies will always insist he was wronged.

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.

They know that I corrected the record as soon as possible; and they know that I and every other senior official and minister including the current prime minister and then occupant of the same building, Rishi Sunak believed that we were working lawfully together.

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