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Committee says ex-PM, Boris Johnson deliberately misled Parliament

After 14 months of investigation, the Privileges Committee concluded that the ex-PM 'deliberately misled' Parliament about lockdown breaches in Downing Street.

It said he had been ‘disingenuous’ and if he had not already quit the House he should have been suspended for 90 days. That could have been the longest punishment since Keith Vaz in 2019.

The report also said Mr Johnson had undermined ‘democratic institutions’, and should be banned from getting a former MP pass for the Parliamentary estate.

But a titanic battle is now raging, with Mr Johnson and his allies accusing the cross-party group – which has a Labour chair but a Tory majority among the seven members – of ‘monstrous hypocrisy’ and bias against him.

A crucial debate and vote will be held on the report on Monday – Mr Johnson’s birthday. With Opposition parties backing the verdict, the result is not in doubt, but Conservatives who fail to support him are being threatened with deselection.

In a statement, Mr Johnson dismissed the findings as ‘tripe’ and ‘deranged’, saying the committee was ‘beneath contempt’ and part of a ‘protracted political assassination’.

He demanded senior Tory Sir Bernard Jenkin follow him in resigning after allegations emerged that he attended a drinks party for his wife in Parliament during lockdown.

Why was it illegal for me to thank staff and legal for Sir Bernard to attend his wife’s birthday party?’ Mr Johnson said.

‘The hypocrisy is rank. Like Harriet Harman, he should have recused himself from the inquiry, since he is plainly conflicted.’

In a highly personal attack on Sir Bernard, known as a naturist, Mr Johnson said the committee’s argument was ‘so threadbare that it belongs in one of Bernard Jenkin’s nudist colonies’.

Rishi Sunak desperately dodged questions about the row on a visit to Harrow this morning. Downing Street said he had not read the document yet.

Declaring that the vote will not be whipped, Leader of the House Penny Mordaunt appealed for respect among Conservatives: ‘All of us must do what we think is right and others must leave us alone to do so.’

But former Cabinet minister Nadine Dorries said: ‘Any Conservative MP who would vote for this report is fundamentally not a Conservative and will be held to account by members and the public.’

Prevail Inegbenose

Prevail Inegbenose is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Spark Media & Entertainment Ventures, the publisher of Spark News Daily - Nigeria's most sought-after online news platform - Politics, Sport & Entertainment. Prevail Inegbenose hails from Irrua, Esan Central LGA of Edo State. He studied Mass Communication from the prestigious Auchi Polytechnic Auchi and graduated in 2007. Prevail Inegbenose is a veteran journalist with 15 years of active and practical journalism. He has authored so many write-ups, a lot of which had been published in the newspapers, magazines and social media. Hence Prevail Inegbenose is a Journalist, Writer, Researcher, Author, Communication Expert and Consultant, Social Media Influencer, Project Management Expert, Peace Ambassador and Advocate of Good Governance and Better Society. He's a Pastor, in fact the Lead Pastor, House of God Int'l - Rest Tabernacle, Abuja Nigeria.

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