Nigel Adams resigns as MP triggering third by-election

Nigel Adams - Leon Neal/Getty Images
Nigel Adams - Leon Neal/Getty Images

Rishi Sunak faces a third by-election test after a close ally of Boris Johnson resigned from the Commons with “immediate effect”.

Nigel Adams announced on Saturday that he was following Mr Johnson and Nadine Dorries, the former culture secretary, in quitting Parliament.

In a tweet, Mr Adams said: “Yesterday, Selby Conservatives selected an excellent new parliamentary candidate.

“I’ve today informed the chief whip that I will be standing down as a Member of Parliament with immediate effect.

“It has been an honour to represent the area where I was raised (and) educated.”

It comes as a parliamentary committee believed to have found that Boris Johnson misled Parliament is set to meet on Monday.

The privileges committee has decided to bring forward the publication of its damning conclusions, after Mr Johnson chose to quit Parliament rather than face a by-election that the panel had been preparing to trigger.

03:44 PM

That's all for today:

Thanks for following the Telegraph’s live blog.

03:43 PM

Labour to 'campaign hard' in by-elections

Labour is not “remotely complacent” about winning the Uxbridge and South Ruislip by-election or the general election, the shadow work and pensions secretary has said.

Speaking at a campaign event in the constituency on Saturday, Jonathan Ashworth told the PA news agency: “We are going to be campaigning hard for every single vote here.

“This campaign here is about 13 years of economic failure by the Conservatives, 13 years of driving our NHS into the ground, 13 years of failing to give young people good jobs and opportunities to get onto the housing ladder and it’s about the complete mess the Tories made of the economy last year, putting a bomb under the economy.

‘Labour is not remotely complacent’

“Labour is not remotely complacent, not remotely complacent because we are working hard to win the trust of the people... but I do just sense that people have had enough of the Conservatives.

“People are fed up of nothing working in this country.

“In many ways this is a last-gasp government. Rishi Sunak is asking the British people to pay the price of 13 years of their economic failure.”

03:08 PM

Priti Patel: ‘Boris is a political titan'

Boris Johnson has been dubbed a political “titan” by Priti Patel, the former home secretary, after he revealed a shock decision to quit the House of Commons over a partygate investigation.

Ms Patel told the Telegraph: “Boris Johnson has served our country and his constituency with distinction.

“He led the world in supporting Ukraine and defending our values, he got Brexit done, and he secured successes for the Conservative Party not seen since Margaret Thatcher.

“Boris is a political titan whose legacy will stand the test of time.”

Continue reading here.

02:51 PM

'Conservative Party is in meltdown'

Daisy Cooper, the Liberal Democrat deputy leader, responding to a third by-election being triggered by Tory MP resignations in 24 hours, said: “The Conservative Party is in meltdown and must now call a general election.

“After years of failing our NHS and failing to deal with the cost-of-living crisis it is time people across the country have their opportunity to give a verdict on this chaotic Conservative Government.”

02:25 PM

Tory mayoral hopeful blocked from honours list

Samuel Kasumu, a frontrunner to become the Tories’ mayoral candidate, has been blocked from the party’s candidate long list.

A senior source in Mr Kasumu’s camp has accused Tory HQ of blocking his candidacy over close links to Boris Johnson, the Express reports.

Mr Kasamu, a former No 10 adviser to Johnson, had emerged as the Tory frontrunner to fight Labour’s Sadiq Khan at next year’s London Mayoral election.

01:55 PM

Johnson ally Nigel Adams to stand down

MP Nigel Adams, an ally of Boris Johnson, has announced on Twitter he will be standing down with “immediate effect”, triggering a by-election in his Selby and Ainsty constituency.

Mr Adams last month told Guido Fawkes he had no plans to trigger an early by-election following Johnson’s referral to police over partygate.

01:14 PM

Johnson 'effectively leaked' that Privileges Committee found he lied to Parliament

Boris Johnson appears to have “effectively leaked” that the Commons Privileges Committee has found he lied to Parliament, its chairman Sir Chris Bryant said.

Sir Chris, who recused himself from the committee’s investigation into whether the former prime minister was in contempt of Parliament over his partygate comments to MPs, said Mr Johnson had been “very relaxed” about the inquiry being set up and did not raise complaints about its process at the time.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I presume that what the committee’s report says, since this is what Boris seems to have effectively leaked, is that he lied to Parliament, that that was a culpable offence, and that he should be suspended from the House.”

12:58 PM

Nadine Dorries denied peerage

Nadine Dorries quit as a Tory MP shortly before she was denied a peerage in Boris Johnson’s resignation honours list.

The former culture secretary revealed that she was standing down from her Mid Bedfordshire seat with immediate effect, triggering a potentially tricky by-election for Rishi Sunak.

Mr Johnson’s honours list was published on Friday, but Ms Dorries did not appear on it, despite repeated reports that she would be nominated for a peerage.

Read the full piece here.

12:43 PM

Shaun Bailey handed peerage

Shaun Bailey, who ran unsuccessfully for London mayor in 2021, has been handed a peerage.

The London Assembly member was pictured attending a lockdown busting party in December 2020 at Conservative Party headquarters.

Mr Bailey and Tory aides were seen posing for a photo while raising glasses beside buffet food, while indoor socialising was banned in the capital.

The police said in November that no fines would be issued to those who attended the festive gathering.

Ms Rayner said: “It’s a sickening insult that those who planned Covid parties and held boozy lockdown bashes while families were unable to mourn loved ones are now set to be handed gongs by Rishi Sunak.”

Downing Street said the Prime Minister “had no involvement or input into the approved list”.

12:29 PM

Questions raised by Johnson’s resignation honours list

The “farce” surrounding Boris Johnson’s resignation honours list brings into question whether former prime ministers should be able to hand out awards after leaving office, according to a former House of Lords speaker.

Baron Fowler of Sutton Coldfield said Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has “an opportunity to put all this right” by reforming the system whereby outgoing No 10 incumbents have the right to put forward an honours roll.

Mr Johnson quit as an MP only hours after his resignation honours list was published on Friday, with a host of aides and allies handed peerages and other gongs.

Lord Fowler, who was awarded a knighthood by Margaret Thatcher in 1990, said the way Mr Johnson’s honours list unfolded was an “extraordinary mess” and “brings into question” whether the process should be reformed.

12:01 PM

Boris's statement shows he thinks he'll be back

In just four words, Boris Johnson managed to confirm what we were all thinking: that there is more to this than first meets the eye, writes Camilla Tominey.

“It is very sad to be leaving parliament,” he opined, before adding the crucial, caveated quartet of prose: “At least for now”.

Designed to convey the impression of Elvis leaving the building, but destined for an encore, this was Johnson once again channeling his inner Arnold Schwarzenegger.

In his final PMQs last July, he bid parliament a prime ministerial farewell with “Hasta La Vista”.

Read the full piece here.

11:49 AM

Sir Ed Davey says Johnson has 'track record of deceit and lies'

Sir Ed Davey has accused Boris Johnson of having “a track record of deceit and lies”.

The Lib Dem leader told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I never thought he was fit to be an MP, let alone prime minister.

“He has a track record of deceit and lies.”

“But I hope today is not just about Boris Johnson.

“I think it’s about the whole Conservative Party who put him there in the first place.”

11:36 AM

Angela Rayner: Johnson is a 'coward'

Boris Johnson has been accused of being a coward for quitting as an MP before the findings of a cross-party investigation into whether he lied to the Commons has been published.

Angela Rayner, Labour’s deputy leader, said the former prime minister had “jumped” to avoid facing a potential by-election in his marginal constituency.

Mr Johnson dramatically resigned as MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip on Friday and took aim at the Commons Privileges Committee in a scathing 1,000-word statement.

Angela Rayner said the former prime minister had 'jumped' to avoid facing a potential by-election in his marginal constituency
Angela Rayner said the former prime minister had 'jumped' to avoid facing a potential by-election in his marginal constituency

Ms Rayner said it was “tosh” for the former Tory leader to suggest the partygate probe was unfair and accused him of running away from a potential by-election test.

“To me, he is a coward,” the senior Opposition MP told BBC Radio 5 Live.

“He knows that the Privileges Committee has seen through this fiasco and he has jumped.

“He could have defended himself, he could have gone to his constituents and fought the suspension, and he has decided he is not going to do that because he knows he is in the wrong.”

11:20 AM

Boris Johnson's resignation letter in full

Boris Johnson yesterday resigned as an MP after accusing a Commons investigation into whether he misled Parliament over partygate of attempting to “drive me out”.

The former prime minister, in a statement to the media, compared the Privileges Committee probe to a “kangaroo court” as he announced his intention to step down as MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip.

He said, after receiving a letter from the committee, he believed it was “determined to use the proceedings against me to drive me out of Parliament”.

Read his statement in full here.

10:51 AM

Officials implicated in partygate scandal nominated in Boris Johnson’s resignation honours list

A number of senior officials who were implicated in the partygate scandal have been nominated in Boris Johnson’s resignation honours list.

Martin Reynolds, formerly Mr Johnson’s principal private secretary in No 10, has been nominated for a peerage.

He has admitted emailing Downing Street staff to invite them to come for drinks in the No 10 garden to “make the most of this lovely weather” on May 20, 2020.

The “bring your own booze” event took place at a time when rules and guidance restricted gatherings of more than two people and workplaces were meant to maintain social distancing.

Boris Johnson at a gathering in 10 Downing Street with alcohol on a table on November 13th 2020 during the second nationwide Covid-19 lockdown
Boris Johnson at a gathering in 10 Downing Street with alcohol on a table on November 13th 2020 during the second nationwide Covid-19 lockdown

Shelley Williams-Walker, who was head of operations at No 10 during Mr Johnson’s premiership, has been made a dame.

She was allegedly in charge of the music during one of two leaving dos held on the eve of the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral on April 16, 2021.

Some attendees were later fined by police for their participation, with socialising indoors banned at the time between people from other households, and when meeting others outdoors was limited to groups of six people or two households.

Jack Doyle, who was director of communications when the partygate story broke, will be made a CBE as part of the honours roll.

10:31 AM

Conservative Party 'has decided to move on from Boris Johnson', says George Osborne

Speaking at the Northern Research Group (NRG) conference in Doncaster, prior to Boris Johnson’s resignation, former chancellor George Osborne said: “There are parts of Boris Johnson that I admire. I like his kind of optimism and his generosity. But there are also things that he proved not to be very good at and one of them was actually implementing things in Government.

“And I personally think the Conservative Party has decided to move on from Boris Johnson.

“I think the Conservative Party has, you know, an opportunity in this election. Obviously, it’s going to be a tough election for the Conservatives to win, but it’s certainly not impossible and I don’t think Labour (has) sealed the deal yet.

“If the Conservative Party is going to win, it’s got to offer a positive agenda. We’ll have been in office for 13/14 years and it can’t be blaming other people for an inability to get things done. It has to show how it can get things done.”

10:22 AM

Chris Bryant: Johnson could be levelled with new contempt of Parliament charge

Sir Chris Bryant, the Labour chairman of the Privileges Committee who recused himself from the Boris Johnson investigation, said the former prime minister could be levelled with a new contempt of Parliament charge after his “narcissistic rant”.

Mr Johnson accused MPs conducting the inquiry into whether he misled the Commons with his assurances over partygate of a “witch hunt” as he announced he was quitting the green benches on Friday.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Sir Chris said: “The report still stands and will have to go to the House.”

‘An attack on the whole House’

He added: “They may want to conclude that there has been an additional contempt of Parliament by the way that Boris Johnson has behaved in the last 24 hours and in the attacks on the committee, which are in effect an attack on the whole House.

“I don’t think anybody can now be in any doubt that Boris Johnson holds Parliament in contempt.

“I thought that was evident through the illegal prorogation of Parliament, but it’s certainly true now.

“The committee could ask the House to come to all sorts of different conclusions about the former member Boris Johnson, which would undoubtedly affect how he is seen into the future.”

09:58 AM

Mr Johnson saw 'writing on the wall'

Will Walden, a former spokesman for Boris Johnson, said his former boss had “seen the writing on the wall” that he could be ousted in a potential by-election triggered by the Privileges Committee’s sanction.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Mr Walden, who said he did not think the former prime minister’s decision to quit as an MP marked the end of Mr Johnson’s political career, added: “I think the most important thing that people need to understand this morning is there is only one thing driving Boris and that is that he likes to win, or at least not to lose.

“And he hasn’t lost an election for 26 years, when the voters of Clwyd South decided he wasn’t their man in 1997.

“I think the first thing to understand is this report clearly threatened to change all that.

‘Protecting his version of the narrative’

“He had seen the writing on the wall, he knew he probably would lose a by-election in his marginal seat. His primary motivation here, as it has been for the last year or so, is protecting his version of the narrative.

“So by going, as he has, all guns blazing, he is able to avoid defeat, he is able to blame pretty much everyone else, including it seems anyone that voted Remain in 2016.

“There is no plan but he is preparing himself for what might be next without the humiliation of being kicked out.

“But it is so Boris. He told the committee that if they found against him, he wouldn’t respect the outcome - and so it has proved, there is no great surprise here.”