Former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson deliberately misled Parliament about the lockdown-flouting parties that undermined his credibility and contributed to his downfall, a committee of lawmakers said on June 15 after a year-long investigation.
A scathing report from the House of Commons Privileges Committee found that Mr. Johnson’s actions and his response to the committee were such a flagrant violation of the rules that they warranted a 90-day suspension from Parliament.
While a condemning indictment of the former prime minister’s conduct, the recommendation is largely symbolic because Mr. Johnson angrily quit as a lawmaker Friday after the committee informed him of its conclusions.
Mr. Johnson, 58, described the committee as a “kangaroo court” that conducted a “witch hunt” to drive him out of Parliament. A majority of the panel’s seven members come from Mr. Johnson’s Conservative Party.
“The committee now says that I deliberately misled the House, and at the moment I spoke I was consciously concealing from the House my knowledge of illicit events,” Mr. Johnson said in a heated statement released in response.
“This is rubbish. It is a lie. In order to reach this deranged conclusion, the Committee is obliged to say a series of things that are patently absurd, or contradicted by the facts.”
The report is just the latest episode in the “partygate” scandal that has distracted lawmakers since local news organisations revealed that members of Mr. Johnson’s staff held a series of parties in 2020 and 2021 when such gatherings were prohibited by pandemic restrictions.
The full House of Commons will now debate the committee’s report and decide whether it concurs with the panel’s findings and recommended sanctions.
The committee also said Mr. Johnson should not be granted a pass to Parliament’s grounds.