Boris Johnson faces MPs’ verdict on lockdown party deceit allegations

The inquiry into whether Boris Johnson misled Parliament regarding lockdown parties at Downing Street is set to conclude today, with the Privileges Committee finalising their report. Johnson, who resigned as an MP on Friday, criticised the committee as a “kangaroo court” attempting to “drive him out of Parliament.” The report is expected to be published later this week.

The seven-member committee, predominantly comprised of Conservatives, has been investigating for nearly a year whether Johnson misled MPs about his knowledge of Covid breaches in Downing Street. In March, Johnson admitted to misleading Parliament but denied doing so intentionally. The committee reportedly planned to recommend suspending Johnson as an MP for ten days or more, which would have led to a recall petition and a potential by-election.

In his resignation statement on Friday, Johnson accused the committee of executing a “political hit job.” A committee spokesperson countered, stating that the MPs had followed proper processes and that Johnson had “impugned the integrity” of the Commons with his statement. Cabinet minister Michael Gove voiced his disagreement with Johnson’s description of the committee, expressing his “respect” for their work.

Members of the Privileges Committee have been offered additional security due to widespread anger among MPs from various political parties. They believe that the criticism from Johnson and others has contributed to an atmosphere where committee members feel vulnerable.

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Hours after Johnson’s resignation, Downing Street published his honours list without the names of key supporters, including Nadine Dorries, Sir Alok Sharma, and Nigel Adams. Competing claims about the removal of these names are now at the centre of a rift within the Tory party. The House of Lords Appointments Commission confirmed that it had rejected eight of Johnson’s nominations on the grounds of propriety.

Gove defended the decision to pass Johnson’s honours list to the King before the Privileges Committee report was published, asserting that it was a “separate procedure.” Within 24 hours of the list being published, both Dorries and Adams resigned as MPs, resulting in by-elections in their constituencies. Johnson’s resignation also triggers a by-election in his marginal constituency of Uxbridge and South Ruislip.

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Jamie Cartwright

Jamie is a keen traveler, writer, and (English) teacher. A few years after finishing school in the East Mids, UK, he went traveling around South America and Asia. Several teaching and writing jobs, he found himself at The Thaiger where he mostly covers international news and events.

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