LONDON: Former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson deliberately misled Parliament about shutting down the parties that breached his credibility and contributed to his downfall. A committee of the lawmakers said on Thursday after a year-long investigation.
A scathing report from the House of Commons Privileges Committee found that Johnson’s actions and his response to the committee were in flagrant breach of the rules which warranted a 90-day suspension from Parliament.
While an indictment condemning the former prime minister’s conduct, the recommendation is largely symbolic because Johnson He angrily resigned as deputy on Friday after the committee informed him of its findings.
“We have concluded above that, by willfully misleading the House, Johnson committed grave contempt,” the committee report said. “The contempt was all the more serious because it was committed by the Prime Minister, the most senior member of the government. There is no precedent for a Prime Minister having deliberately misled the House of Representatives.”
The committee also said Johnson should not be given a pass on Parliament’s motives.
Johnson, 58, responded in an angry statement. He described the committee as a “kangaroo court” which conducted a “witch-hunt” to expel him from Parliament. The majority of the seven committee members belong to Johnson’s Conservative Party.
Johnson said, “The committee now says that I willfully misled the House, and the moment I spoke, I was consciously concealing from the House knowledge of wrongful occurrences.” “This is nonsense. It is a lie. In order to reach this confused conclusion, the committee is bound to say a series of things which are manifestly absurd, or contradict the facts.”
The report is the latest episode in a “Partygate” scandal that has distracted lawmakers since local news organizations revealed that members of Johnson’s staff held a series of parties in 2020 and 2021 when such gatherings were banned due to pandemic restrictions. The full House of Commons will now debate the committee’s report and decide whether it agrees with the committee’s findings and recommended penalties.
Johnson angrily resigned as lawmaker on Friday after being told in advance by the committee that he would be sanctioned.
On Wednesday, on the eve of the report’s publication, Johnson also called on the committee’s most senior conservative member, Bernard Jenkin, to resign over allegations that he had broken pandemic restrictions himself.
Daisy CooperDeputy leader of the opposition Liberal Democrats, he said the move was “a typical Boris Johnson distraction tactic that doesn’t change the fact that he broke the law and lied about it.”
Johnson’s move to quit Parliament means he can no longer be suspended, and his seat of Uxbridge and South Ruislip will be contested in a special election in July.
Johnson and his wife Carrie were fined by the Metropolitan Police last year for breaching COVID-19 laws at a birthday party for Johnson in June 2020 at his Downing Street residence and office.
The current prime minister Rishi Sunak He was also among dozens of people issued fixed penalty notices for a series of office parties and “wine time Fridays” in 2020 and 2021 across government buildings.
The revelations of the alcohol-fueled gatherings, which took place at a time when millions were banned from seeing their loved ones or even attending family funerals, angered many Britons and fueled a series of moral scandals that led to Johnson’s downfall. Johnson resigned as prime minister in July 2022 following an exodus of government officials in protest of his leadership.
Johnson acknowledged misleading lawmakers when he assured them that no rules were being broken, but insisted he did not do so intentionally.
In March, he told the committee he “sincerely believed” that the five gatherings he attended, including an employee farewell and his surprise birthday party, were “legitimate work gatherings” intended to boost morale among overstretched employees dealing with a deadly crisis. pandemic.


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