THE downfall of Boris Johnson is even more extraordinary than previous political scandals over misleading parliament such as the Profumo Affair and the Suez Crisis because of the former prime minister’s “open warfare” response, experts have said.

And despite the damning findings of a Commons inquiry, there are predictions that “Brand Boris” will continue to survive to capitalise on lucrative moneymaking opportunities such as speeches and his new newspaper column.

The Privileges Committee last week found Johnson deliberately misled the House with his partygate denials before being complicit in a campaign of abuse and intimidation against the MPs investigating him.

The former prime minister was unrepentant in his response, having already resigned as an MP ahead of the report’s publication.

He called it a “deranged conclusion”, claiming the 14-month investigation had delivered “what is intended to be the final knife-thrust in a protracted political assassination” and had branded the committee a “kangaroo court”.

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Johnson’s supporters also waded in with staunch ally Jacob Rees-Mogg, describing the committee’s 90-day suspension recommendation for Johnson as “vindictive”.

Speaking on the Institute for Government (IFG) podcast, programme director Dr Catherine Haddon said: “We have obviously seen a very major case of an MP, minister for war resigning – John Profumo and admitting he misled the House.

“But obviously there wasn’t the same inquiry – and he did admit it and resign.

“We have also seen a former prime minister leave [due to] damage to his reputation – Anthony Eden in the aftermath of the Suez Crisis.

“He left supposedly due to ill health, but there were lots of accusations that he had misled the house about the circumstances of Britain and France getting involved with the invasion around the Suez Canal.

“It subsequently became apparent that yes, there was a conspiracy that led into that process, so very likely did mislead the house. But again, it was different circumstances.”

She added: “The way in which Boris Johnson hasn’t just gone on the defensive, he has gone on the offensive and big time and so have his supporters.

“We have not seen something quite so extraordinary where a prime minister is in open warfare with his own party and his own Prime Minister and with parliament itself.”

Johnson has consistently hinted at making a comeback when leaving political posts.

In his final PMQs, he departed the dispatch with the words “hasta la vista, baby”, while his resignation statement as MP included the comment: “It is very sad to be leaving parliament – at least for now.”

But whether he will make a return to politics in the near future is doubtful, according to Paula Keaveney, senior lecturer in politics at Edge Hill University in Lancashire.

“I can’t see it for the simple reason [of] why would he want to come back in and be a backbench MP?” she said.

“That is what we are looking at – either a backbench MP in the government party or a backbench MP in the opposition party.

“And if you were a Conservative association selecting your candidate, this would be a very high-risk strategy, as he would attract lots more opposition campaigners.

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“So why would he want to do it? He can earn a lot more writing a column for a newspaper and doing lectures – there is a lot more freedom in doing that.”

Keaveney pointed out he could have chosen to stay in the Commons, let the recall petition which would have been triggered by his suspension happen, and then fight any subsequent by-election.

She said he may try again in a few years’ time, but said one issue meantime is that he will not be able to follow the footsteps of other senior politicians in being appointed to an international role after stepping down.

“No-one is going to nominate him to be our representative at the UN, all those avenues are closed,” she said.

“So he really is looking at the books, lectures – just being brand Boris, that is what he is going to be.”

Johnson, who has earned up to £250,000 for speaking engagements in recent months, has already joined the Daily Mail as a columnist for a reputed “very high six-figure” sum – even though Whitehall’s anti-corruption watchdog said he had not applied for clearance.

While there has been speculation he will use it to launch further attacks on Rishi Sunak, his first column steered clear of politics and instead covered his experience with a weight loss drug.

But the Prime Minister still faces a dilemma over whether to vote to approve the Privileges Committee report in the Commons tomorrow – over whether risking angering his predecessor’s remaining fanbase in the Tory Party or being open to allegations that he is too weak to stand up to Johnson.

Sam Freedman, senior fellow at the IFG, said while there had been an “unprecedented response” from parliament, it was not a surprise “we are where we are”.

He said: “Boris Johnson throughout his entire career has never accepted any consequences for his actions – he has never been prepared to accept wrongdoing. It doesn’t surprise me at all that his reaction to this committee throughout the whole time it has been running has been contemptuous and that he has got himself into a position where he has made everything much worse for himself.

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“If he had gone along with the committee, accepted he had made mistakes, perhaps accepted he had been reckless, he could probably have got away with less than 10 days [suspension]. But everything he has done has made it worse for himself and it is a reflection of his whole career.”

He added: “For me, the bigger question is how did we end up with someone who had been fired or investigated in every job he ever held, get into this position and why did it take such a long time to get rid of him?”