Partygate report: Boris Johnson lied to MPs over Partygate and misled Parliament, finds Privileges Committee, as pass could be suspended

The report found Mr Johnson had lied about partygate.

Boris Johnson deliberately and repeatedly misled the House over partygate and should be suspended for 90 days, the privileges committee report has found.

After a 14-month investigation, the Privileges Committee found Mr Johnson had undermined the democratic process.

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They recommended a 90-day suspension, and said he should not be given a former members pass, effectively banning him from the parliamentary estate.

Boris Johnson was found to have lied to MPs over partygate.Boris Johnson was found to have lied to MPs over partygate.
Boris Johnson was found to have lied to MPs over partygate.

All MPs traditionally receive a pass to visit the Commons once they leave parliament.

The Privileges Committee found Mr Johnson committed a “serious contempt of the House” through his partygate denials.

It said in the report: “We came to the view that some of Mr Johnson’s denials and explanations were so disingenuous that they were by their very nature deliberate attempts to mislead the committee and the House, while others demonstrated deliberation because of the frequency with which he closed his mind to the truth.”

It found he also breached confidentiality requirements in his resignation statement by criticising the committee’s provisional findings.

“Mr Johnson’s conduct in making this statement is in itself a very serious contempt,” the report said.

The committee said its provisional findings were that Mr Johnson deliberately misled the House and should be suspended for a period longer than 10 sitting days.

But following his resignation statement and criticism of the committee, the MPs said that “if Mr Johnson were still a Member he should be suspended from the service of the House for 90 days for repeated contempts and for seeking to undermine the parliamentary process”.

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The committee said these included: Deliberately misleading the House, deliberately misleading the committee, breaching confidence, “impugning the committee and thereby undermining the democratic process of the House” and “being complicit in the campaign of abuse and attempted intimidation of the committee”.

“We recommend that he should not be entitled to a former Member’s pass,” the MPs said.

Mr Johnson had railed against the committee he has criticised as a “kangaroo court”, and dramatically quit as an MP on Friday after receiving its verdict.

He hit out at what he called a “deranged conclusion”, accusing the Tory-majority group of MPs he has repeatedly sought to disparage of lying.

He called the committee led by Labour veteran Harriet Harman “beneath contempt” and claimed its 14-month investigation had delivered “what is intended to be the final knife-thrust in a protracted political assassination”.

Mr Johnson quit the Commons last week after reading the report’s findings, meaning he will escape the immediate prospect of a sanction.

The former Conservative leader’s resignation means he will not serve the lengthy suspension.

If it was at least 10 days and approved by the Commons, then a by-election in his Uxbridge and South Ruislip constituency could have been triggered.

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His decision to quit pre-empted his sizeable ban, with his constituents to go to the polls next month in a major electoral challenge for Rishi Sunak.

Mr Johnson’s ally Nigel Adams also stepped down and his arch-supporter Nadine Dorries has announced she will go too, though her demands for answers about why she was denied a peerage before she formally quits as an MP look set to prolong the by-election struggle for the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister avoided questions on Thursday morning in advance of the report, saying he had not seen it.

Asked if he believed if Mr Johnson should be allowed to be an MP, the Prime Minister said: “You are talking about a report that I haven’t seen and that no one else has seen. It wouldn’t be right to comment on it in advance of it coming out and being published.”

He added: “These are matters for the House of Commons, and Parliament will deal with it in the way that it does.”

Mr Sunak was also asked if he was “frustrated” by Mr Johnson’s interventions in the past week.

“No, I’m just getting on with delivering for the country,” he said.



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