Boris Johnson’s departure from life as an MP ahead of the publication of the Partygate report plays out across Saturday’s front pages, which are filled with a mixture of acrimony, triumph and predictions of further “Tory bloodletting”.
The Guardian focuses on the reason for his decision to resign as MP, noting that the privileges committee found he misled parliament and recommended a lengthy suspension from the House of Commons. It finds a spot lower down for the reaction to Rishi Sunak approving Johnson’s honours list, regarded as rewarding those involved in the Partygate scandal.
The Times is among a few that go with the “party’s over” angle in their headline. It gives its main picture to a Johnson ally, Donald Trump, who is facing his own troubles over the retention of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago home.
The Daily Record says: “Party’s over, Boris”, and says he resigned over a “damning Partygate probe report into his lockdown antics”. It says he refused to take blame for his own downfall.
The Telegraph plays it relatively straight with the headline “Johnson quits as MP over Partygate” but notes his accusations of a “kangaroo court” and biased investigation in its subhead and intro.
The Daily Mail gives full prominence to Johnson’s version of events with the headline: “Boris: I’ve been forced out by a witch-hunt” and lists out his grievances in a series of bullet points. It notes the “prospect of a fresh round of Tory bloodletting”.
The Daily Express, a longtime and vocal Johnson supporter, says “Boris quits! ‘Kangaroo court forces me out’”. Its tweet foreshadows a “Tory civil war”, which could create a fresh headache for Sunak.
The Daily Mirror says “Johnson quits over Partygate” and calls him variously a “shamed ex-PM” and “deluded Tory”, questioning his assertion that he has been forced out.
The Sun has “Bojo: I quit” and reports that Sunak now faces a “knife-edge by-election”.
The i casts it as Johnson v Sunak, with the headline “Boris Johnson declares war on Sunak as he quits Parliament”. It notes the former PM’s attack on Sunak’s policies and handling of the post-Brexit era, and his leaving open the possibility of an attempt at returning to politics.
The National has perhaps the most pointed front page, with a brooding picture of Johnson, and the headline: “Arrogant to the end.”
The Financial Times gives Johnson a slot further down its front page, with the headline: “Johnson blames ‘partygate’ inquiry as he quits as MP and trigger by-election.”
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