Is this the end of Boris Johnson in politics?

Boris Johnson.
Boris Johnson compared the Privileges Committee to a 'kangaroo court' in his resignation letter. Credit: PA

Overnight during ITV's election broadcast on December 12 2019, all the chatter was about how Boris Johnson was likely to be PM for a decade, having just led his party to a near landslide victory.

Now he is quitting Parliament in a fit of indignation that a jury of his peers could doubt his integrity.

MPs' de-facto court, the Privileges Committee, sent him documents that revealed to him their conviction he is guilty of recklessly lying to the Commons when saying there were no rule-breaking parties in Downing Street.

He opted to jump rather than hang around for them to pronounce guilty in public - which they will early next week.

His departure is just weeks after his party was humiliated in local elections and when pretty much all opinion polls show it is around 14 points behind Labour.

In the history of political reversals, I can recall nothing like it.

There is an argument that Johnson fundamentally changed Britain, by giving the UK Brexit - the referendum result and the eventual deal - but in the chaos of his premiership also wrecking his own party. 

Although Rishi Sunak may be able to stick it all back together, it will require superhuman efforts.

And Sir Keir Starmer must be the luckiest opposition leader of all time.

What is unclear is whether Johnson has a rational cunning plan to one day return to front line politics, or whether his resignation is a self-harming fit of wounded pride from which he will struggle to recover.

His resignation statement is a full frontal attack both on one of Parliament's most important institutions, the Privileges Committee, but also on the Tory leader and PM.

It was not that long ago that Tory MPs and members regarded both such actions as unforgivable sins - treachery against party and country. 

Maybe the Conservative Party is not conservative in those basic senses at all any more. 

But if it is, yesterday was the end of Johnson's political career. It hasn't been dull.

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