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by Ruaraidh Gilmour
20 June 2023
MPs back Boris Johnson Partygate report

Boris Johnson was found to have committed repeated offences telling the house that No10 always followed the rules | Alamy

MPs back Boris Johnson Partygate report

MPs have backed a report that found Boris Johnson deliberately misled the House of Commons over lockdown parties. 

The Committee of Privileges report was backed overwhelmingly by MPs, with only seven voting against it while 354 voted in favour. 

The former prime minister was found to have committed repeated offences telling the house that No10 always followed the rules.  

Rishi Sunak was absent from the debate along with other senior Cabinet ministers, leading Labour MPs to accuse him of having “run away”, while the Liberal Democrats called it “a cowardly cop-out". Downing Street said he was meeting the Swedish prime minister and had an evening dinner to attend.  

Senior Conservatives Theresa May, Penny Mordaunt and Gillian Keegan were among those that supported the findings.  

May said backing the report would be “a small but important step in restoring people’s trust”. She added that it was "important to show the public that there is not one rule for them and another for us". 

118 Tories voted in favour, while 225 MPs either abstained or did not turn up. 

Before the report's publication, Johnson quit as an MP, labelling the cross-party committee, which has a Conservative majority, a “kangaroo court”.  

It found that the former prime minister had committed further “contempts” of parliament by attacking the committee, which increased the gravity of the recommended sanction. The recommendations were a 90-day suspension and denying him a former member’s pass to parliament.  

If Johnson remained in his post, it could have triggered a by-election of his constituency of Uxbridge and South Ruislip. 

Former business secretary Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg described the 90-day suspension as “a vindictive sanction” and that it was "absolutely legitimate to criticise the conduct of a committee". 

Committee chair Harriet Harman said its members had to "withstand a campaign of threats, intimidation, and harassment designed to challenge the legitimacy of the inquiry".

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