Boris Johnson submits last-minute letter to MPs investigating Partygate

A last-minute letter from Boris Johnson has been submitted to the Members of Parliament (MPs) investigating allegations that he misled Parliament over lockdown parties. The privileges committee confirmed receipt of the submission from the former Prime Minister just before midnight on Monday. The committee’s conclusions are expected to be published this week, although not on Wednesday as initially anticipated. Johnson resigned as an MP last week after viewing the committee’s report.

In a statement, Johnson urged the committee to “publish their report and let the world judge their nonsense,” adding that there was “no excuse for delay.” He stated that he had expressed his views to the committee in writing and would do so more broadly when the report is published. According to the published process, Johnson had the right to respond to the committee within 14 days of receiving its draft findings, which were sent last week. The committee announced that it would address the new developments and “report promptly.”

Last week, the former prime minister referred to the committee as a “kangaroo court” with the sole purpose of finding him guilty, regardless of the facts. He accused the committee of launching a “witch hunt” against him and its chairwoman, Labour’s Harriet Harman, of demonstrating “egregious bias.” The committee countered that it had “followed the procedures” at all times and accused Johnson of undermining “the integrity of the House by his statement.”

The seven-person committee, with a majority of Conservatives, has been investigating whether Johnson misled MPs about Covid-19 breaches in Downing Street and his knowledge of them for nearly a year. In March, while giving evidence, Johnson admitted to misleading Parliament but denied doing so intentionally. He acknowledged that social distancing at Downing Street gatherings during Covid lockdowns was not “perfect” but maintained that the guidelines, as he understood them, were followed at all times.

The Partygate scandal haunted Johnson’s premiership, resulting in a fine for breaking Covid rules in 2020, making him the first serving UK prime minister to be sanctioned for breaking the law. Johnson’s resignation as an MP triggered a by-election in his marginal constituency of Uxbridge and South Ruislip last Friday.

Johnson claimed that the draft report he saw was “riddled with inaccuracies and reeks of prejudice,” adding that it was evident that the committee aimed to “use the proceedings against me to drive me out of Parliament.” He asserted that there was no evidence to suggest that he “knowingly or recklessly misled the Commons,” insisting, “I did not lie.”

World News

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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