Boris Johnson apology: MPs to vote on whether Boris Johnson should be investigated

Boris Johnson is preparing to set out his "version of events" on partygate as he faces MPs this week for the first time since being fined as a result of a police investigation.

Mr Johnson is expected to update the House of Commons on the partygate affair
Mr Johnson is expected to update the House of Commons on the partygate affair

The Prime Minister is expected to make a “full-throated apology” to MPs after he was fined by police for attending a birthday bash in breach of Covid rules.

In the Commons, Sir Lindsay Hoyle confirmed Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer will be allowed to table a motion for debate on Thursday regarding the PM and parties in Downing Street.

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Boris Johnson apology: Boris Johnson set to apologise to MPs over partygate lock...
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Mr Johnson is widely expected to make a statement in the Commons today, as MPs return to Westminster following the Easter recess.

As well as addressing MPs in the Commons, Mr Johnson will also reportedly speak to a meeting of the entire Conservative parliamentary party on Tuesday evening.

RECAP: Boris Johnson set to address MPs over partygate fine

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Does the Labour motion look likely to pass?

Boris Johnson still has a significant majority in the chamber, and many do not appear to be against the PM, especially with Boris Johnson to talk to Convervative MPs this evening.

For Opposition parties, it does mean the saga is likely to stay in the headlines however.

A Labour source: “Any Conservative MP considering voting to block this investigation would be voting for a cover-up.

“They should reflect on the mess they got themselves into over Owen Paterson before falling into line.”

Labour is understood to be wording the motion to make Thursday’s vote about whether to refer Mr Johnson to the Committee of Privileges.

The committee, PA news agency understands, has the power to summon reports and documents.

It means that MPs could request to see the full version of senior civil servant Sue Gray’s inquiry into the Downing Street lockdown gatherings and any potential photographic evidence that exists.

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey urged Conservative MPs to “do their patriotic duty” in Thursday’s vote.

If you are just joining us - MPs will get the chance to vote on whether Boris Johnson misled Parliament over his assurances Covid rules were followed in Downing Street, the Commons Speaker has announced.

There will be a debate on whether Boris Johnson should be referred to the privileges committee over his statements to Parliament on parties.

It comes after the Prime Minister, along with his wife Carrie Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak, were last week issued with fixed-penalty notices (FPN) by police investigating claims of coronavirus lockdown breaches in No 10.

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey urged Tory MPs to “do their patriotic duty” in Thursday’s vote on the Prime Minister’s conduct.

He said: “The British public have declared Boris Johnson a liar. Now it’s time for Parliament to do the same.

“The country cannot afford a Prime Minister who breaks the law and lies about it, especially when families are facing a cost-of-living crisis.

“Johnson has taken the British people for fools for far too long, and it’s time for Conservative MPs to show where they stand. They must do their patriotic duty and kick Boris Johnson out of Downing Street once and for all.”

MPs are set to vote on whether to refer Boris Johnson for a formal parliamentary investigation into whether he misled parliament about his knowledge of Covid law-breaking parties.

Sir Lindsay Hoyle also told MPs: “Scheduling the debate for Thursday will, I hope, give members an opportunity to consider the motion and the response to it.

“The motion will appear on Thursday’s order paper to be taken after any urgent questions or statements. Hopefully there won’t be any.

“I hope this is helpful to the House.”

Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle said he had received letters from a number of MPs, including Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, requesting he gives precedence to consider statements made by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to the Commons on gatherings held in Downing Street and Whitehall during the lockdown.

He said the procedure is set out in Erskine May, noting: “It is not for me to police the ministerial code, I have no jurisdiction over the ministerial code even though a lot of people seem to think I have. It is not the case.

“Secondly, it is not for me to determine whether or not the Prime Minister has committed a contempt. My role is to decide whether there is an arguable case to be examined.

“Having considered the issue, having taken advice from the clerks of the House, I’ve decided that this is a matter that I should allow the precedence accorded to the issue of privilege.

“Therefore, (Sir Keir Starmer) may table a motion for debate on Thursday.”

It’s looking more likely that we will hear from the Prime Minister around 4:30 according to reports from the BBC with a censure motion potentially on the cards beforehand.

Ukraine remains in a “perilous” position despite recent setbacks suffered by the invading Russian forces, Boris Johnson has warned.

The Prime Minister told the weekly meeting of the Cabinet that President Vladimir Putin had been angered by the defeats inflicted on his troops but remained “determined to claim some sort of victory regardless of the human cost”.

Ministers were briefed by a senior national security official who said the next phase of the war – focusing on the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine – was likely to be “an attritional conflict” which could last “several months”.

Mr Johnson – who stressed the need to step up international support to Ukraine – is due to discuss the latest situation in a conference call with US President Joe Biden and European and Canadian leaders on Tuesday.

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