UK Lawmakers Set To Punish Ex-PM Johnson For 'Partygate Lies'
London, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 19th Jun, 2023 ) :British MPs vote Monday on a damning report that found ex-prime minister Boris Johnson deliberately lied to parliament about lockdown-breaking parties, in what the government hopes will be the final chapter in the damaging "Partygate" scandal.
The parliamentary vote is being held on Johnson's 59th birthday as the wounded former leader ponders his next move, with allies predicting a future return to the electoral fray.
It also comes at a time of mounting political problems for Rishi Sunak's Conservative government as stubbornly high inflation and constantly rising interest rates inflict economic pain on voters.
The committee in a scathing 106-page report on Thursday found him guilty of "repeated contempts (of parliament) and... seeking to undermine the parliamentary process".
- 'Indefensible' - "The contempt was all the more serious because it was committed by the prime minister, the most senior member of the government," the report said, adding there was "no precedent for a prime minister having been found to have deliberately misled the house".
Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove apologised for the Covid rule breach at a time when the public was banned from socialising or meeting loved ones.
He told the BBC the footage was "terrible" and "indefensible".
Johnson could have faced a 90-day suspension and the humiliation of having to run for re-election in his constituency had he not quit as a lawmaker on June 9 after receiving an advance copy of the report.
A few of his close allies are expected to vote against the report, but they are said to be unconcerned about the recommended sanction of removing his parliamentary pass.
Johnson has reportedly privately urged supporters not to vote against the report, arguing the sanctions have no practical effect.
Conservative MP and Johnson loyalist Jacob Rees-Mogg predicted that the ex-premier might eventually stage a comeback.
"Perhaps, after the next election, Boris Johnson will return to the fray with a new electoral mandate," he wrote Saturday in the right-leaning Daily Telegraph.
"His undimmed ebullience and joie de vivre, with a renewed sympathy from the electorate, many of whom think the privilege committee over-egged its pudding, leave him as a powerful force in politics," he added.