Boris Johnson: MPs to vote on Commons privileges committee Partygate report saying former-PM misled Parliament
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The decision of whether or not to support a report that found Boris Johnson deliberately misled Parliament regarding lockdown parties in Downing Street will be made by MPs later today.
The former prime minister was found to have committed a series of offences with his Partygate denials, according to a year-long investigation by the Commons privileges committee.
The committee concluded, if Mr Johnson had continued to serve as an MP, he should have been expelled from the Commons for 90 days. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has not yet indicated whether he will vote on the report’s findings, according to the BBC.
There will be no party managers, or "whips," telling Tory MPs what to do during the vote, which is anticipated to take place this evening (June 19) following a debate. The report is expected to get through without difficulty, but it is uncertain if a vote will be recorded because Mr Johnson has asked his allies not to oppose it.
In the report, the privileges committee said Mr Johnson had misled MPs when he assured them lockdown rules had always been followed after the Partygate scandal emerged.
Conservative MPs can choose not to participate in the vote. Michael Gove, the housing secretary who also served in Mr Johnson’s cabinet, has declared his intention to abstain, making him the lone member of the Sunak government to do so.
Upon entering Downing Street, Mr Sunak swore to place "integrity" at the centre of his administration. He will face pressure from opposition MPs to approve the committee’s findings. Voting in favour of it, though, would anger Mr Johnson’s fans, some of whom have criticised the committee’s findings.
Prior to the report’s release, Mr Johnson announced his retirement as an MP and called the committee a "kangaroo court".
Partygate video: Tory HQ Christmas party amid lockdown restrictions
The vote comes amid fresh controversy surrounding a leaked video showing Tory Party staff dancing and joking about Covid restrictions during the height of the pandemic at a Christmas party.
The video, which was obtained by the Mirror, can hear one attendee saying: "As long as we don’t stream that we’re, like, bending the rules," before giggling, as a man and woman hold hands and dance.
At one point, the pair collide with a buffet table piled high with food and wine glasses, while other visitors stroll by wearing paper crowns and clutching alcoholic beverages. At least 24 people were reportedly present at the party, which took place on December 14, 2020, when indoor socialising was prohibited under Tier 2 restrictions.