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Former No 10 Staffers Reportedly Say Boris Johnson Misled MPs About ‘Partygate’ Scandal

© AFP 2022 / ANDY BAILEYA handout photograph released by the UK Parliament shows Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaking during his final Prime Minister's Questions (PMQs) at the House of Commons in London on July 20, 2022
A handout photograph released by the UK Parliament shows Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaking during his final Prime Minister's Questions (PMQs) at the House of Commons in London on July 20, 2022 - Sputnik International, 1920, 09.08.2022
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On Monday, Boris Johnson’s Tory allies accused a parliamentary committee investigating whether the outgoing UK prime minister misled Parliament on the “Partygate” row of conducting a “vengeful witch hunt”.
Three former No 10 officials may give evidence and claim at the Commons Privileges Committee that outgoing British Prime Minister Boris Johnson misled MPs over the so-called “Partygate” scandal, the Telegraph has reported.
With BoJo expected to leave Downing Street in less than a month, the committee continues its inquiry into whether the Prime Minister committed contempt of Parliament by misleading MPs with his “Partygate” denials.
The Telegraph quoted one of the sources as saying that “on the facts, he [BoJo] was definitely at lockdown-breaking events and he knew they were happening and therefore what he said to the House was knowingly inaccurate”.
A handout photograph released by the UK Parliament shows Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson laughing as Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak makes a statement on the cost of living crisis in the House of Commons on May 26, 2022 - Sputnik International, 1920, 07.06.2022
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When asked if Johnson misled Parliament about the “Partygate” row, another source argued, “absolutely, damn well he did”.
The claims were echoed by a third official, who told the Telegraph that Johnson “knew what was going on” when it comes to the “Partygate” scandal pertaining to No 10’s COVID rule-busting parties held between 2020 and 2021. All the three officials spoke on the conditions of anonymity.
Their remarks came amid efforts by BoJo’s most loyal supporters to get the Privileges Committee’s investigation scrapped as they insist that the MPs sitting on the panel are biased against the British prime minister.

The supporters include Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries who tweeted that “if this witch hunt continues, it will be the most egregious abuse of power witnessed in Westminster.”

“It will cast serious doubt not only on the reputation of individual MPs sitting on the committee, but on the processes of Parliament and democracy itself,” Dorries asserted.
The view was shared by another Johnson ally, Lord Goldsmith, who tweeted that the Privileges Committee’s “Partygate probe is clearly rigged.”

“It is a jury comprised of highly partisan, vengeful & vindictive MPs, nearly all of whom are already on the record viciously attacking the person they are judging. It is an obscene abuse of power,” Goldsmith argued.

The Downing Street COVID law-breaking parties were among the scandals that forced Johnson to announce his resignation on 7 July, with the name of BoJo’s successor expected to be known on September 5.
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson walks to a waiting car as he leaves from 10 Downing Street in central London on July 13, 2022 to head to the Houses of Parliament for the weekly Prime Minister's Questions (PMQs) session - Sputnik International, 1920, 17.07.2022
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If the Privileges Committee concludes that Johnson misled Parliament, he could face a recall position, which would trigger a by-election in his seat of Uxbridge and South Ruislip – potentially ousting him from Parliament.
In a statement to Parliament following the publication of senior civil servant Sue Gray’s report into “Partygate” in May, Johnson denied deliberately misleading MPs as he claimed that he was unaware of rule-breaking at his office, and insisting that he had believed the leaving parties and other social gathering at Downing Street were legitimate workplace events.
The report focused on 16 occasions when government staff allegedly socialized with food and drink at 10 Downing Street in breach of COVID-19 lockdown rules in 2020 and 2021, which included going away parties for three members of staff.
“There were failures of leadership and judgement by different parts of No 10 and the Cabinet Office at different times. Some of the events should not have been allowed to take place. Other events should not have been allowed to develop as they did,” Gray pointed out.
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