Chris Bryant to recuse himself from possible probe into whether Boris Johnson misled Parliament over partygate
Rhondda MP Chris Bryant, who chairs the Commons’ Committee of Privileges, has said he will recuse himself from a prospective investigation into whether Boris Johnson misled Parliament over partygate claims.
In a letter to members of the committee, he said: “I understand that some Honourable and Right Honourable Members have questioned whether I should chair such an inquiry into the Prime Minister, given that I have made several statements in the media on this matter.
“I am certain that if the House were to refer this matter to the committee, all of us would be entirely diligent in setting aside our personal feelings and allegiances, and discharging our duty to protect the reputation of the House without fear or favour.”
Mr Bryant continued: “However, it is also important that the House be seen to proceed fairly without any imputation of unfairness and that the whole House have confidence in the Committee of Privileges’ proceedings. I have therefore decided that if the motion to refer is carried tomorrow, I will recuse myself from any consideration of the matter.
“I will still chair the Committee of Privileges and the Committee on Standards for all our other business, but it will be for the rest of the committee to decide who should chair proceedings on this inquiry and how it should proceed.”
Last week Mr Bryant launched a blistering attack on Prime Minister Boris Johnson following confirmation he’d been fined for attending a party during the Covid lockdown.
In a social media post Mr Bryant explained that he thought it was unlikely the committee he chairs would be asked to investigate the partygate scandal at Downing Street, adding the Prime Minister had “repeatedly lied to parliament” and “is not fit for office”.
“In my book the PM broke the law, repeatedly lied to parliament and refused to correct the record. That is a threefold breach of the ministerial code. He is not fit for office. I wish it were otherwise, but until Tories wake up Johnson remains the sole arbiter of his own conduct,” the Labour MP added.
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