Former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to mount a strong defence against allegations that he misled Parliament about the partygate scandal.
In a written dossier of evidence, Mr Johnson will try to clear his name and save his political career before a public hearing on Wednesday.
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Oliver Dowden, has expressed confidence that Mr Johnson will provide a compelling defence of himself, but the ultimate outcome will depend on the committee’s decision. The Privileges Committee will scrutinize at least four occasions when Mr Johnson may have deliberately misled MPs with his assurances that COVID-19 rules were being followed.
The investigation will seek to determine whether Mr Johnson committed a contempt of Parliament and make recommendations on any punishment, but the final decision will rest with the full House of Commons. Despite the Tory majority on the seven-strong panel, the committee’s investigation is being chaired by Labour’s Harriet Harman.
Mr Johnson’s supporters maintain that he will present a detailed and persuasive account to the committee before his appearance, demonstrating that he “did not knowingly mislead the House.” However, the committee will be tasked with examining the evidence surrounding the allegations and determining the truth.
If Mr Johnson is suspended from Parliament for ten sitting days or more, it could trigger a by-election in his Uxbridge and South Ruislip seat. This seat was previously held by Mr Johnson with a majority of 7,210 votes in 2019.
In conclusion, the Privileges Committee will be investigating allegations against Mr Johnson regarding misleading Parliament. With a Tory majority on the panel, it remains to be seen whether the committee’s findings will impact Mr Johnson’s political career.