An influential UK parliamentary committee probing former UK prime minister Boris Johnson’s conduct related to the party gate scandal of COVID lockdown law-violating parties in Downing Street said on Friday he may have misled the House of Commons at times.
The House of Commons Privileges Committee has published a summary of its findings and called on Johnson to give oral evidence on whether he deliberately misled Parliament, before concluding conclusively later this month and presenting its full findings to Parliament. Did it
The 58-year-old former prime minister, whose exit from 10 Downing Street last year was hurried by the Party Gate scandal, was asked in the Commons if COVID lockdown rules were repeatedly broken within government quarters.
The cross-party committee report said, “The evidence strongly suggests that breaches of the guidance were evident at gatherings for Johnson.”
“There is evidence that those who were advising Mr Johnson on what to say to the press and in the House were themselves struggling to ensure that some gatherings were within the rules. said in a WhatsApp message on Jan. 10 in 2020 regarding the June 19 gathering: ‘Haven’t heard any explanation of how this is in the rules’, notes the officer.
The interim report highlights specific instances during successive COVID lockdowns in the UK during 2020 and 2021, when the House of Commons may have been misled by Johnson’s claims that “no rules or guidance were broken”.
“This [Parliament] Maybe when Johnson failed to tell the House about his knowledge of gatherings where rules or guidance were broken. This is because there is evidence that he participated in them,” it reads.
“It appears that Johnson did not correct repeated statements and did not use the well-established procedures of the House to spot anything wrong as soon as possible.”
Members of Parliament on the Commons Privileges Committee were tasked with investigating whether Johnson misled Parliament over the Party Gate allegations after opposition Labor Party leader Sir Keir Starmer tabled a motion in April 2022.
Johnson claimed that the committee’s interim report showed that he was being “exonerated” and that “it is clear from this report that I have committed no contempt of Parliament”.
“This is because there is no evidence in the report that I intentionally or negligently misled Parliament or that I failed to update Parliament in a timely manner,” he said. He claimed, “Nor is there any evidence in the report that I was aware that any events taking place at Number 10 or the Cabinet Office were in breach of rules or guidelines.”
Johnson, now a backbench Conservative Party MP, is due to give oral evidence to the committee in the week beginning March 20.
Meanwhile, he has sought to cast doubt on the official Party Gate inquiry conducted by senior civil servant Sue Gray, which is being used as evidence by a parliamentary inquiry.
After reports emerged that the Labor Party was considering appointing Gray as its chief of staff, Johnson said: “I leave it to others to decide how much confidence can now be placed in his investigation”. Is.” Labor has strongly contested such allegations, stating that Gray was offered the political role long after the conclusion of their Party Gate inquiry last year.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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