Boris Johnson news: Ex-PM’s fate to be decided by MPs today as Sunak ‘expected to skip’ Partygate debate

Privileges Committee finds Boris Johnson misled parliament

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Rishi Sunak is reportedly set to skip a debate on the damning report that found Boris Johnson lied over Partygate.

The privileges committee report found the breaches were serious enough to recommend a suspension of 90 days for Mr Johnson’s “repeated contempts” of parliament had he not pre-emptively resigned.

Whether or not a vote on the report takes place on Monday – which is incidentally the former prime minister’s birthday – depends in part on how many Johnson loyalists decide to oppose the report.

No 10 has declined to say if Mr Sunak will turn up to back the report, but he will be hosting a foreign leader in Downing Street which could give him an excuse not to take part.

Meanwhile, Conservative Party is facing fresh outrage following the release of video showing people partying at its headquarters during lockdown. The video shows attendees drinking, dancing and appearing to joke about Covid restrictions at a time when indoor socialising was banned.

Levelling up secretary Michael Gove, who has apologised for the video, will also abstain from a vote.

Key Points

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Sue Gray and I weren’t asked to contribute to Civil Service probe, Stamer says

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said neither he nor Sue Gray were asked to contribute to a Civil Service investigation into the former senior official’s move to become his chief-of-staff.

It follows reports that partygate investigator Ms Gray was found, following a Cabinet Office inquiry, to have breached Whitehall impartiality rules by holding job talks with Labour while still a civil servan.

Sir Keir told ITV’s Good Morning Britain programme: “I don’t know anything about this Cabinet Office inquiry.

“Nobody asked me, or as far as I know, Sue, any questions in relation to it.

“So I don’t know where that has come from, I don’t know who wrote it, I haven’t seen it, I haven’t been asked to contribute towards it.

“So I would actually put that on one side. The committee that matters is the committee that has been in place, that makes a decision on whether someone coming out of the Civil Service can take up another job.

“That committee is in the process of making its decision, that is the only decision that actually matters.”

Matt Mathers19 June 2023 08:29


Tory MP says will vote to support committee’s report

Conservative MP Stephen Hammond said he was planning to vote, should one be called, in favour of the Commons Privileges Committee ruling that Boris Johnson misled MPs over partygate.

Speaking to TalkTV, the former health minister said: “If there is a vote on it, and I think it is quite a big ‘if’ actually, I will vote to support the committee’s report.

“I think there are two issues here. Firstly, regardless of who this report is about, we have House of Commons procedures and if we’re not prepared to uphold them in this case, will we be prepared to uphold them in future cases?

“And if we can’t support what the committee which we set up has said, are we capable of self-regulating ourselves? And do we really want judges and outside people doing this sort of inquiry in the future? I think not.

“So there is a point of principle here for Members of Parliament to think about quite carefully, about our own rules and how Parliament and the sovereignty of Parliament works.”

Mr Hammond said the findings had come from a “committee of our peers”, adding: “They have listened to all the evidence, they have come to this conclusion, and I think they deserve support for coming to this conclusion.”

(PA Archive)

Maryam Zakir-Hussain19 June 2023 08:07


Tory peer says ‘no question’ Partygate caused ‘enormous problems’

Conservative peer Lord Hayward has said there is “no question” Partygate caused “enormous problems”

Speaking about “Boris backers”, he told Sky News: “I don’t think they will force a vote. But I think they have recognised the support for Boris has ebbed away quite markedly over the last few months.”

Watch the full clip here:

Maryam Zakir-Hussain19 June 2023 07:37


Revealed: Full extent of boozing, debauchery and blatant Covid rule-breaking

A former Downing Street official who worked throughout the Covid crisis has revealed the true scale of the drunken debauchery under Boris Johnson – with No 10 parties so wild that staff passed out on the stairway.

Speaking exclusively to The Independent, the whistleblower said the details in the Partygate report were just the tip of the iceberg when it came to the raucous drinking culture and blatant rule-breaking throughout the pandemic.The insider revealed:

  • Boris Johnson was aware of regular drinks parties during lockdown
  • The former PM oversaw a “toxic masculine culture” at Downing Street
  • No 10 staff were ill “all of the time” but were told “no point” wearing masks

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar19 June 2023 07:30


Covid victim’s daughter says Johnson’s honours list is ‘tainted with blood’

A woman who lost her father to Covid has said Boris Johnson’s resignation honours list is “tainted with blood” after damning new footage showed Conservative staff partying during lockdown.

Ruth Carney’s father Peter Carney died alone in hospital on 2 May 2020, just months before a video showing Tory staff joking about “bending the rules” at the gathering when indoor socialising was banned under Tier 2 restrictions on 14 December 2020.

Ms Carney, a TV and theatre director, said it was insulting to see Tory staff drinking and dancing when families could not be with their loved ones when they died – especially as two of those present have since been given honours by Mr Johnson.

She said: “That honours list is really rubbing salt in the wound – how dare he be allowed to do that? It should be scrapped.“I’m sure there are people on there who are worthy and should be honoured but do they really want to be honoured on his list? It’s tainted with blood.”

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar19 June 2023 07:00


Micheal Gove to abstain from vote

Michael Gove has said he will abstain from voting on the report which found Boris Johnson lied to MPs over Partygate because he disagrees with its conclusion.

Mr Gove claimed the privileges committee’s finding that the former prime minister should have been suspended from parliament for 90 days was “not merited”.

He refused to be drawn on whether he believed the prime minister should back the report, saying it is a matter for “each individual” MP to decide for themselves.

Mr Gove also apologised after a “terrible” and “completely out of order” video showing Conservative Party workers at a Christmas party during lockdown in 2020 was published by The Mirror.

“I just want to apologise to everyone really who, looking at that image, will think well these are people who are flouting the rules that were put in place to protect us all,” he told Sky News.

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar19 June 2023 06:25


Video ‘shows Tories dancing, drinking and laughing at lockdown rules’

A Partygate video appearing to show Tory staff drinking, dancing and joking about “bending” Covid lockdown rules has emerged, piling further pressure on the party just days after Boris Johnson was found to have lied about rules being followed.

The video, said to have been taken on 14 December 2020, when socialising inside was banned in parts of the UK, shows for the first time, staff joking about their Christmas party at the Conservative Campaign Headquarters (CCHQ) in London breaking the rules, according to The Mirror.

The party was organised by the campaign team behind Shaun Bailey’s ultimately failed bid to become mayor of London and “formal disciplinary action” was taken against four staff members over the “unauthorised” event.

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar19 June 2023 05:53


Commons watchdog denies claims from David Warburton

A Commons watchdog has denied criticisms from a departing Conservative MP after an investigation by the Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme (ICGS) into allegations of sexual harassment and cocaine use.

David Warburton resigned from his Somerton and Frome seat on Saturday, leaving Rishi Sunak facing another potentially damaging by-election.

Mr Warburton said he was prevented from “speaking out” while the accusation was investigated and said it had been an “extraordinarily difficult” 14 months fighting “malicious allegations”.

In his resignation letter he said he was left with “no choice” than to provoke “the upheaval of a by-election”, saying: “It is my hope that, in so doing, I can freely illuminate the methods of an oversight system not fit for purpose, so that friends and colleagues in the House can see the perverted process by which their own judgement may at any time be freighted.”

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar19 June 2023 05:26


Perception Johnson unpopular in Scotland ‘false’, claims secretary

Alister Jack has said the perception former prime minister Boris Johnson is unpopular in Scotland is “false”.

Mr Jack, an ally of the beleaguered former premier who was found last week to have deliberately misled MPs in his denials over partygate, said he had never witnessed any abuse when Mr Johnson had visited Scotland.

An Ipsos Mori poll of 1,000 Scots released in May last year in the midst of press reports about parties in and around Downing Street during the pandemic, and just two months before he was forced from office, suggested Mr Johnson had a net approval rating of -71 per cent, with 83 per cent of respondents reporting a negative view of him.

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar19 June 2023 05:16


Tories face outrage over Covid lockdown party video

The Conservative Party is facing fresh outrage following the release of video showing people partying at its headquarters during lockdown.

The video shows attendees drinking, dancing and appearing to joke about Covid restrictions at a time when indoor socialising was banned.

Two of those at the party, held in the basement of Conservative Campaign Headquarters (CCHQ) in London in December 2020, were in Boris Johnson’s resignation honours list. The Metropolitan Police said yesterday that the force was “aware of the footage” – published by The Mirror – and are “considering it”.

Ruth Carney, whose father died alone in hospital in May 2020, said it was insulting that Tory staff could be drinking and dancing after she had not been able to be with her father at the end.

“Then … they’re having a party and dancing. I’m fuming, I’m extremely angry, I absolutely cannot believe this – it’s like some kind of joke,” she said of the video.

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar19 June 2023 05:07

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