UK MPs overwhelmingly back report slamming Boris Johnson for ‘partygate’

London: The House of Commons in Britain has overwhelmingly supported a report that accuses former Prime Minister Boris Johnson of lying to lawmakers regarding lockdown-breaching parties held in his office. This resounding endorsement represents a significant rebuke, resulting in Johnson being deprived of his lifelong access to Parliament. Lawmakers backed the findings by 354 votes to 7.
Conservative leaders thrash Johnson

During the debate, Members of Parliament (MPs) emphasised the importance of demonstrating to the public that politicians are bound by the same rules and are obligated to tell the truth. Theresa May, Johnson’s predecessor as prime minister and a Conservative Party lawmaker, stated, “It is important to show the public that there is not one rule for them and another for us.”

Penny Mordaunt, the House of Commons Leader and a Conservative member like Johnson, urged fellow MPs to vote according to their conscience and announced her support for the report by the Commons’ Privileges Committee. Mordaunt emphasised the significance of upholding the integrity of institutions and the resulting implications for accountability.

Rishi Sunak, Boris absent from the debate

There were also a few of Johnson’s allies who defended him during the debate. Legislator Lia Nici said that “I cannot see where the evidence is where Boris Johnson misled Parliament knowingly, intentionally or recklessly.” However, the majority of Conservative and opposition lawmakers expressed their support for the report. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, wary of enraging Johnson’s remaining supporters, did not participate in the debate, citing other commitments.

Johnson himself, who celebrated his 59th birthday on Monday, was not present as he had resigned as prime minister in September 2022 and subsequently stepped down as a lawmaker on June 9, following the announcement of the Privileges Committee’s findings.

The debate on Monday stemmed from the ongoing “partygate” scandal, which centres around gatherings that took place in Johnson’s Downing Street office and other government buildings in 2020 and 2021.

Boris returns to journalism

Meanwhile, Boris Johnson has been named as a new columnist for the Daily Mail newspaper. This marks a return to his previous career in journalism, where he has written for various prominent British publications, albeit being dismissed from one for fabricating a quote.

Johnson’s column is expected to provide him with a lucrative platform to express his opinions on the government and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, appealing to the readership of this widely-read right-leaning newspaper.