Where to read the Privileges Committee Patygate report on Boris Johnson

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  • June 15, 2023
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House of Commons Privileges Committee have published their report into whether former Prime Minister Boris Johnson misled parliament over the ‘partygate’ scandal, which saw numerous gatherings at Downing Street during Covid-19 lockdowns.

Boris Johnson quit as a member of parliament last Friday after receiving an advance copy of the report. He issued an unprecedented rebuke of the Privileges Committee, describing it in his resignation statement as a ‘kangaroo court’ and claiming they were ‘determined to use the proceedings against me to drive me out of Parliament’.

Now, the report has been published, and the cross-party group of MPs (four Conservatives, two Labour, and one SNP member) on the Privileges Committee have concluded that Mr Johnson deliberately misled the House of Commons over Partygate, and (should he not have left the House) would have recommended a 90-day suspension.

But how can you read the Privileges Committee report in its entirety?

Here is what you need to know.

How to read the Privileges Committee report?

The House of Commons Committee of Privileges has published its report online, titled ‘Matter referred on April 21, 2022 (conduct of Rt Hon Boris Johnson): Final Report’.

It is available to read via the parliament.uk website.

Head to Parliament Live to view the Committee’s session on 22 March 2023 with Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP in full.

https://t.co/22ADd48lMS

— Privileges Committee (@HoCPrivileges) March 23, 2023

What did the Privileges Committee report conclude about Boris Johnson?

The Privilege Committee report found that Boris Johnson was guilty of ‘repeated contempts’ and ‘seeking to undermine the parliamentary process’ by:

  • Deliberately misleading the House
  • Deliberately misleading the Committee
  • Breaching confidence
  • Impugning the Committee and thereby undermining the democratic process of the House
  • Being complicit in the campaign of abuse and attempted intimidation of the Committee

The report was scathing of Boris Johnson’s conduct, both in addressing the House and the Committee, stating, ‘We conclude that in deliberately misleading the House Mr Johnson committed a serious contempt.’

The report went on to say, ‘The contempt was all the more serious because it was committed by the Prime Minister, the most senior member of the government.

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‘There is no precedent for a Prime Minister having been found to have deliberately misled the House. He misled the House on an issue of the greatest importance to the House and to the public and did so repeatedly.

‘He declined our invitation to reconsider his assertions that what he said to the House was truthful.

‘His defence to the allegation that he misled was an ex post facto justification and no more than an artifice. He misled the Committee in the presentation of his evidence.’

How has Boris Johnson responded to the report?

In his inflammatory statement responding to the report, the former prime minister described the 108-page report’s findings as ‘rubbish’, ‘a lie’, and ‘a charade’.

He disputed the Committee’s interpretation of the events they investigated and claimed that they ‘cannot possibly believe the conclusions of their own report’.

The former PM went on to say, ‘The terrible truth is that it is not I who has twisted the truth to suit my purposes. It is Harriet Harman and her Committee.’

Boris Johnson called the findings of the Tory-majority Committee ‘a dreadful day for MPs and for democracy’. He concluded with an attack on the Committee chair, stating: ‘It is for the people of this country to decide who sits in Parliament, not Harriet Harman.’


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