From Brexit to Partygate, a timeline of Johnson’s career

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LONDON (AP) — He was the mayor who basked in the glory of hosting the 2012 London Olympics and the man who led the Tories to a landslide election victory on his pledge to “achieve the Brexit”.

But Boris Johnson’s time as Prime Minister has been blighted by his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and a steady stream of allegations of ethics, alcohol-fueled government parties breaking lockdown rules at the how he handled a sexual misconduct scandal involving a senior party lawmaker.

Here is a timeline of events related to Johnson’s political career:


2001-2008: Served as a Member of the House of Commons representing the constituency of Henley.

2008-2016: Served as Mayor of London, overseeing the London 2012 Olympics.

2016: Co-leader of the campaign to leave Britain out of the European Union, in opposition to then Prime Minister David Cameron, a fellow Conservative. Cameron resigns after voters approved Brexit in a nationwide referendum on June 23, 2016.

2016-2018: Served as Foreign Secretary under Cameron’s successor, Prime Minister Theresa May. Johnson resigned in July 2018 in opposition to May’s strategy for a “soft” Brexit that would maintain close ties with the EU.

June 7, 2019: Theresa May resigns as leader of the Conservative Party over her failure to persuade Parliament to back the Brexit deal she brokered with the EU. The party is split between those supporting May and hardliners, led by Johnson, who are willing to risk a no-deal Brexit in order to wring concessions from the EU.

July 23, 2019: Johnson is elected leader of the Conservative Party in a vote of party members. He takes office as Prime Minister the next day, inheriting a minority government that relies on the votes of the Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland to pass legislation. Johnson insists Britain will leave the EU on October 31, with or without a deal.

August 28, 2019: Johnson announces he will shut down parliament until mid-October, giving opponents less time to thwart a no-deal Brexit.

September 3, 2019: Twenty-one rebel Conservative Party MPs are backing legislation requiring the government to seek an extension to Brexit talks if it cannot broker a deal with the EU. The measure passes and the rebels are expelled from the party.

September 5, 2019: Johnson says he would rather be ‘dead in a ditch’ than ask the EU for another extension.

September 24, 2019: The UK Supreme Court rules that the government’s suspension of Parliament was unlawful.

October 19, 2019: Johnson asks the EU to delay Brexit again. New deadline set for January 31.

November 6, 2019: Parliament is dissolved and a snap election is set for mid-December as Johnson seeks a mandate for his Brexit strategy.

December 12, 2019: Johnson wins an 80-seat majority in the general election, giving him the support needed to push through Brexit legislation. The victory makes Johnson the most electorally successful Tory leader since Margaret Thatcher.

January 23, 2020: The Brexit deal becomes law after approval by the UK Parliament. The European Parliament approves the agreement six days later.

March 23, 2020: Johnson places the UK in first lockdown due to COVID-19.

April 5, 2020: Johnson hospitalized then transferred to intensive care with COVID-19. He was discharged from hospital on April 12, thanking the nurses who sat with him all night to make sure he was still breathing.

Nov. 3-4, 2021: Johnson’s government orders Conservative lawmakers to back a change to ethics rules to delay the suspension of Owen Paterson, a Johnson supporter who had been censured for breaking lobbying rules. The measurement passes. A day later, faced with an angry reaction from lawmakers of all parties, Johnson changed course and allowed lawmakers to vote on suspending Paterson. Paterson resigns.

November 30, 2021: Allegations surface that government officials attended parties at government offices in November and December 2020 in violation of COVID-19 lockdown rules. The scandal grows to reports from more than a dozen parties. Johnson denies the allegations, but opposition leaders slam the government for breaking the law as people across the country made sacrifices to fight the pandemic.

December 8, 2021: Johnson authorizes an investigation into the scandal, dubbed “Partygate”. The pressure mounts for a leadership challenge, but fades.

February 3: Johnson’s longtime assistant Munira Mirza leaves Downing Street, followed by three other top aides.

March 23: The government announces a mid-year spending plan which is criticized for doing too little to help people struggling with the soaring cost of living. Treasury chief Rishi Sunak refuses to delay a planned income tax hike or impose a windfall tax on oil and gas companies benefiting from higher energy prices.

April 9: Johnson meets Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv, promising a new package of military and economic support. The move helps bolster Johnson and his supporters, who argue the government shouldn’t focus on domestic political wrangling.

April 12: Johnson is fined 50 pounds ($63) for attending one of the lockdown parties. Opposition parties characterize him as the first British prime minister in history to break the law while in office. Johnson apologizes but insists he didn’t know he was breaking the rules.

May 22: Findings from the “Partygate” investigation are released, detailing 16 gatherings at Johnson’s home and office and other government offices between May 2020 and April 2021. The report details excessive drinking among some Johnson staffers, at a time when millions of people have been unable to see their friends and family.

May 26: The government reconsiders its tax decision on oil and gas companies and announces a plan to levy 25% on windfall profits.

June 6: Johnson narrowly wins a vote of no confidence, with Conservative lawmakers voting 211 to 148 in support. But the scale of the revolt – around 41% voted against him – is shaking his grip on power.

June 15: Christopher Geidt steps down as Johnson’s ethics adviser, accusing the Conservative government of wanting to flout rules of conduct.

June 24: Johnson’s Conservatives lose two former strongholds to opposition parties in a special election.

June 29: Parliament’s Cross-Party Privileges Committee calls for evidence for an inquiry into whether Johnson misled Parliament over the lockdown parties.

June 30: Chris Pincher resigns as Tory Deputy Chief Whip amid allegations he assaulted two guests at a private club in London. Previous sexual misconduct allegations are emerging about Pincher. Questions are swirling about whether Johnson was aware of the claims when Pincher was given the job.

July 5: Johnson apologizes for his handling of the Pincher scandal and says he forgot to be briefed on the allegations. Two of Johnson’s top Cabinet ministers, Treasury chief Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Sajid Javid, have left the government.

July 6: Thirty junior ministers resign from the government, attacking Johnson’s leadership.

July 7: Johnson agrees to resign as Conservative Party leader and Prime Minister.

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