Majority of MPs approve Privileges Committee Boris Johnson Partygate report
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Boris Johnson has suffered a resounding defeat as 354 MPs voted in favour of the Privileges Committee report into whether he misled parliament when he gave statements about alleged parties that took place in Downing Street during the pandemic.
Boris Johnson now faces a 90-day suspension and could be blocked from getting a pass allowing him unlimited access to the House of Commons.
The privileges committee concluded earlier this week that Boris Johnson deliberately misled the House of Commons on multiple occasions over ‘Partygate’. Some of the instances include telling MPs that “all guidance was completely followed in No 10” and failing to inform MPs of his knowledge of when rules had been broken.
As a result of the report, the Privileges Committee concluded that Mr Johnson “committed a serious contempt” of parliament and that he should receive a 90-day suspension from the House of Commons.
Prior to the vote, MPs gathered in the House of Commons to speak on the report. Labour MP Jess Phillips contributed to the debate, stating: “The idea that Boris Johnson didn’t understand the regulations … I mean, it is a cracking defence on his part I have to say, because it basically means he is too stupid. He is either lying or he is thick.”
The Birmingham Yardley MP added that the committee report reassured her there was “a lock on the system”, also describing it as “a valve to release the pressure”.
The series of gatherings leading to the ‘Partygate’ scandal took place in the summer of 2020 when people were permitted to meet just one person outside of their household in an outdoor, public place - but had to stay two metres apart at all times.
In a leaked email first seen by ITV News, it was revealed that the former Prime Minister’s top aide Martin Reynolds had invited 100 Number 10 staff to “make the most of the lovely weather” and “bring your own booze” to a garden gathering at Downing Street.
MPs were also believed to have “gathered briefly” in the Cabinet Room at a surprise birthday celebration for Johnson. A series of other events allegedly took place thereafter including a No.10 Christmas Party and staff leaving do.