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Partygate scandal: Boris Johnson up for vote in Parliament

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British MPs vote on Thursday in the “partygate” case, which resulted in Boris Johnson being fined for breaching anti-Covid restrictions. If it is seized, the Privileges Committee will conduct an investigation to find out if it has deceived the deputies and may, if necessary, recommend sanctions.

The crisis does not end Boris Johnson: British MPs debate and vote Thursday on the “partygate”, these parties organized in Downing Street during the confinements which earned a fine for the Prime Minister. Did the Conservative leader knowingly deceive Parliament? Given his majority, there is little risk that the House of Commons will approve the launch of a parliamentary procedure that could push him to resign.

But this vote, which will above all give an idea of ​​​​the level of support of his troops, prevents Boris Johnson from turning the page on this scandal. The case, which for a time took a back seat to the war in Ukraine, was revived last week when he was fined for breaching anti-Covid restrictions by participating in a surprise party for his 56th birthday in June 2020, becoming the first incumbent British head of government sanctioned for breaking the law.

Boris Johnson’s ‘unreserved’ apology

Visiting India, he will be absent from Parliament. On Tuesday, he repeated his “unreserved” apologies to MPs and the British, saying that it “did not occur to him” that this gathering, of about ten minutes at most according to him, ” may constitute a violation of the rules” then in force. Not enough to convince the opposition, which tabled a motion for debate in the House of Commons to find out whether the Prime Minister knowingly misled Parliament by repeating over and over again at the Palace of Westminster that he had respected all the rules.

At the end of the debate on Thursday, MPs will vote on whether the matter should be transferred to the Committee of Privileges, a parliamentary committee in charge of such matters. If seized, the committee will conduct an investigation to find out whether the Prime Minister has deceived the deputies and may, if necessary, recommend sanctions, the extent and scope of which are not clear. But the ministerial code provides that a minister who knowingly misled Parliament must resign.

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The motion is unlikely to pass given the large Conservative majority in the House of Commons. Many MPs who had once called for the departure of Boris Johnson also believe that it is now inappropriate to chase him from Downing Street in the context of the war in Ukraine. The debate will, however, allow potential slingers to declare themselves. And the attitude of elected Conservatives, torn between loyalty to their leader and voter anger, will be scrutinized as local elections approach on May 5.

“Decency and Honesty”

“We urge Tory MPs to do the right thing: respect the sacrifice of their constituents during the pandemic, say the public was right to play by the rules,” said Labor leader Keir Starmer. The opposition leader on Tuesday called Boris Johnson a “man without shame”, calling on majority MPs to get rid of their leader to restore “decency, honesty and integrity” in British political life.

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The head of government also came under harsh criticism from within his own camp, with Conservative MP Mark Harper saying he was no longer “worthy” of being prime minister. In addition to a possible parliamentary inquiry, Boris Johnson is also not immune to new fines for his participation in at least five other festive events, according to the press. He will also have to face, on a date still unknown, the conclusions of senior civil servant Sue Gray, who has already squashed in a pre-report of “errors of leadership and judgment”.

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