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Boris Johnson demands Tory quits Privileges Committee on eve of partygate report

14 Jun 2023 3 minute read
Sir Bernard Jenkin, Conservative MP for Harwich and North Essex. Photo David Woolfall/UK Parliament

Boris Johnson has claimed a Tory MP sitting on the committee preparing to publish a report finding he misled Parliament with his partygate denials may have broken lockdown rules.

The former prime minister called for Sir Bernard Jenkin’s resignation from the Privileges Committee on the eve of the publication of its investigation into whether Mr Johnson lied to MPs.

The Guido Fawkes website reported that Sir Bernard went to a drinks party held by Commons Deputy Speaker Dame Eleanor Laing in December 2020, while London was in Tier 2 measures restricting indoor mixing.

The allegation emerged as the cross-party committee Sir Bernard sits on was preparing to publish on Thursday morning its damning report that Mr Johnson has already resigned as an MP over.

In a statement, Mr Johnson said: “Bernard Jenkin has just voted to expel me from Parliament for allegedly trying to conceal from Parliament my knowledge of illicit events.

“Now it turns out he may have for the whole time known that he himself attended an event – and concealed this from the Privileges Committee and the whole House for the last year.

“To borrow the language of the committee, if this is the case, he ‘must have known’ he was in breach of the rules.

“He has no choice but to explain his actions to his own committee, for his colleagues to investigate and then to resign.”

Police investigation

Lord Peter Cruddas, a Tory donor who Mr Johnson elevated to the Lords, called for the police to investigate.

Sir Bernard has been contacted while a representative for Dame Eleanor declined to comment.

London had entered Tier 2 restrictions six days before the alleged gathering in Parliament on December 8 2020.

Indoor mixing was banned and the rule of six was in place outside. Bars and pubs could only serve alcohol alongside “substantial” meals.

Sources said the Tory-majority Privileges Committee, chaired by Labour’s Harriet Harman, had signed off on its report into Mr Johnson and will publish on Thursday morning.

They have investigated whether Mr Johnson committed a contempt of Parliament by misleading MPs either recklessly or deliberately by denying rule-breaking parties in No 10.

The former prime minister was himself fined by the Metropolitan Police, which issued 126 fixed-penalty notices for Covid breaches across Downing Street and Whitehall.

Mr Johnson has railed against the committee he has criticised as a “kangaroo court” and stood down as an MP on Friday after receiving their findings.

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

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.

Instead, his constituents will go to the polls next month in a major electoral challenge for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak because of the resignation.

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10 months ago

Just pathetic, copying Trump rhetoric to the t.

10 months ago
Reply to  Karl

You’re right there
Boris Trump
But what a shower the rest are, no wonder we’re the laughing stock of the world the quicker the Celtic nations remove themselves from the so called union the better
Corrupt corrupt corrupt

10 months ago

When you think the bottom has been reached – another sub terrain level is excavated by BJ.

10 months ago

I think Johnson is set on making his fantasy a reality and making a comeback as PM in the general election after the next one whatever damage that does to the Tory party.
At least it’s damage to the Tory party rather than the UK.
Which is only what the majority of the Tory party, its members and supporters deserve for backing him for PM in the first place.. .

Valerie Matthews
Valerie Matthews
10 months ago

This man has forfeited any right to demand anything! Grow up and shut up Boris, Take your medicine like a man! You did the crime now accept it and stop acting like an indiciplined toddler!

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
10 months ago

Big baby Boris, bless him, is throwing his dummy out of his pram like a tiny Trump. May I remind him that he’s in no position to demand the resignation of anyone, especially MP Bernard Jenkin after all the corruption & scandals he’s been involved in. Also, if he knew that Sir Bernard Jenkins had broken lockdown rules himself, why then didn’t he do anything about it? See Boris, having knowledge but suppressing the information makes you equally culpable. This is yet another misdemeanor added to the long list of his criminal activities in office by Boris Johnson. We should… Read more »

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