A UK parliament committee has ruled that former Boris Johnson deliberately misled MPs over Covid lockdown-breaking parties in Downing Street when he was prime minister
The cross-party Privileges Committee said Johnson, 58, would have been suspended as an MP for 90 days for “repeated contempt (of parliament) and for seeking to undermine the parliamentary process”.
But he avoided any formal sanction by his peers in the House of Commons by resigning as an MP last week.
In his resignation statement last Friday, Johnson pre-empted publication of the committee’s conclusions, claiming a political stitch-up, even though the body has a majority from his own party.
He was unrepentant again on Thursday, accusing the committee of being “anti-democratic… to bring about what is intended to be the final knife-thrust in a protracted political assassination”.
Calling it “beneath contempt”, he said it was “for the people of this to decide who sits in parliament, not Harriet Harman”, the veteran opposition Labour MP who chaired the seven-person committee.
The committee’s long-awaited 106-page report was even more critical than expected, particularly in relation to the sanction it would have recommended.
The “Partygate” scandal saw Johnson and dozens of government officials fined by police for breaking the social distancing laws that the government set the public to curtail the spread of Covid-19.
It triggered public outrage, particularly among the families of those who died from the virus.
The scandal was one of a number that contributed to Johnson’s downfall as prime minister and led to a ministerial rebellion that forced him to resign last July.