Former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson abruptly quit as a member of parliament on Friday (June 9) in a furious protest against lawmakers investigating his behaviour, reopening deep divisions in the ruling Conservative Party ahead of a general election expected next year, Reuters reports.
Johnson had been under investigation by a parliamentary inquiry looking into whether he misled the House of Commons about lockdown-breaking parties in Downing Street during the COVID-19 pandemic.
After Johnson received a confidential letter from the committee, he accused lawmakers investigating him of acting like a "kangaroo court" and being determined to end his political career.
Accusing the committee of mounting a "political hit job", Johnson said in a statement: "I am being forced out by a tiny handful of people, with no evidence to back up their assertions."
Parliament's privileges committee - the main disciplinary body for lawmakers - had the power to recommend Johnson be suspended from parliament. If the suspension is for more than 10 days, voters in his constituency could have demanded he stood for re-election to continue as their representative.
Johnson hinted that he could return to politics, declaring he was leaving parliament "for now".