UK MPs overwhelmingly back Johnson Partygate report

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London, June 20

British MPs have overwhelmingly backed an inquiry report by a Parliamentary committee that revealed former Prime Minister Boris Johnson had deliberately misled the House of Commons over Covid-19 lockdown breaches.

On Monday evening, 354 MPs voted backing the report, with seven against it, reports the BBC.

Senior Conservative MPs who supported the findings of the report published by the Privileges Committee on June 15 were former Prime Minister Theresa May, Commons Leader Penny Mordaunt and Education Secretary Gillian Keegan.

While, Bill Cash, Nick Fletcher, Adam Holloway, Karl McCartney, Joy Morrissey and Heather Wheeler were amongst the Conservatives who voted against it.

No vote was recorded for 225 MPs, because they either abstained or did not turn up to vote, including Prime Minister Rishi Sunak who was not in attendance.

The vote means Johnson loses his right to a parliamentary pass, which gives access to certain parts of Parliament, as this was one of the report's recommendations, the BBC reported.

The report found that Johnson "committed a serious contempt" of Parliament when, after the so-called "Partygate" scandal which revealed that illegal gatherings took place at Downing Street, the former Prime Minister told the House that lockdown rules were followed at all times.

It recommended that the former Prime Minister should have been suspended from the Commons for 90 days if he had remained an MP.

The inquiry report came days after Johnson resigned as a Conservative MP on June 9, claiming that he was "forced out of Parliament" over the Partygate scandal.

In his resignation statement, Johnson described the Privileges Committee as a "kangaroo court" whose purpose "from the beginning has been to find me guilty, regardless of the facts".

He had previously admitted of misleading Parliament when he gave evidence to the Committee in a combative hearing in March - but denied doing it on purpose.

He said that social distancing had not been "perfect" at gatherings in Downing Street during Covid lockdowns but insisted the guidelines, as he understood them, were followed at all times.

--IANS

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