MPs set to condemn Boris Johnson in partygate inquiry conclusion

The parliamentary panel investigating allegations that Boris Johnson lied to Parliament regarding the “partygate” scandal is concluding its inquiry and is expected to deliver a harsh judgement. The former Prime Minister expressed outrage after receiving advance notice of the privileges committee’s conclusions, leading MPs to anticipate strong criticism of his behaviour.

Before Johnson’s unexpected resignation as an MP, the committee reportedly considered a 20-day suspension, which would have triggered a recall petition and potential by-election. Although he cannot be suspended now, he may be denied a parliamentary pass granted to former MPs, a penalty imposed on ex-Speaker John Bercow following a bullying report.

The Guardian reports that MPs on the committee received threats from the public over the weekend, and some of Johnson’s allies encouraged Conservative members to write to the committee in an attempt to sway their decision. However, former Tory minister Tim Loughton said Johnson should “shut up and go away” and referred to the ex-Prime Minister’s allies as a “mob.”

In his resignation statement on Friday, Johnson claimed there was a “witch-hunt underway, to take revenge for Brexit and ultimately to reverse the 2016 referendum result.” The committee, comprised of seven MPs and chaired by Labour’s Harriet Harman, responded: “The committee has followed the procedures and the mandate of the House at all times and will continue to do so.”

The upcoming report is expected to find that Johnson not only made recklessly inaccurate statements in the Commons but also deliberately lied to MPs. The committee is also likely to determine that Johnson made further inaccurate claims under oath during his March appearance before the panel, constituting contempt of Parliament.

Another factor in the committee’s decision was evidence submitted to the panel and police by the COVID inquiry last month, which included allegations of rule-breaking at Chequers that Johnson had previously denied.

Guto Harri, a close ally and former spin doctor for Johnson, criticised the inquiry process and accused Harman of political bias against Johnson. Harri questioned the fairness of a committee led by a former Labour leader having the power to “hound Boris out of office” when the police found him guilty of a minor offence that warranted a £50 fine.

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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