'Outrageous hypocrisy': Boris calls for Tory MP on Privileges Committee to resign over Covid party allegation

14 June 2023, 19:25 | Updated: 14 June 2023, 23:50

Boris Johnson has called on Sir Bernard Jenkin to resign if the claims he broke lockdown rules are true
Boris Johnson has called on Sir Bernard Jenkin to resign if the claims he broke lockdown rules are true. Picture: Getty
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

Boris Johnson has urged a Tory MP sitting on the 'Partygate' Privileges Committee to quit should an allegation that he broke lockdown rules be upheld.

Sir Bernard Jenkin, a Tory MP who sits on the Committee, is alleged to have attended a drinks event in December 2020, while London was in Tier 2 measures restricting indoor mixing.

If this is found to be true, Mr Johnson - who this week resigned as an MP after finding out the Committee's findings - said the MP must resign.

It comes as the cross-party committee Sir Bernard sits on prepares to publish on Thursday morning its damning report that led to Mr Johnson's demise.

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In a statement, the former prime minister said: "Bernard Jenkin has just voted to expel me from Parliament for allegedly trying to conceal from Parliament my knowledge of illicit events.

"Now it turns out he may have for the whole time known that he himself attended an event - and concealed this from the Privileges Committee and the whole House for the last year.

"To borrow the language of the committee, if this is the case, he 'must have known' he was in breach of the rules.

"He has no choice but to explain his actions to his own committee, for his colleagues to investigate and then to resign."

Boris Johnson resigned after reading the Privileges Committee report
Boris Johnson resigned after reading the Privileges Committee report. Picture: Getty

Sir Bernard has been contacted while a representative for Dame Eleanor declined to comment.

Guido Fawkes alleges that the gathering involving Sir Bernard took place in Parliament on December 8, 2020, six days after London entered Tier 2 restrictions.

Indoor mixing was banned and the rule of six was in place outside, and bars and pubs could only serve alcohol alongside "substantial" meals.

Read More: 'Boris Johnson - an incontinent Labrador, weeing and pooing all over the place': James O'Brien takes aim at the ex-PM

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The Privileges Committee's report is expected to be published on Thursday morning.

The document, which is around 30,000 words long, will provide a verdict from the committee on whether they believe the ex-PM committed a contempt of Parliament by misleading MPs either recklessly or deliberately by denying rule-breaking parties in No 10.

Mr Johnson's attendance at lockdown-busting parties, dubbed 'Partygate', already led to the Metropolitan Police issuing him 126 fixed-penalty notices for Covid breaches across Downing Street and Whitehall.

But the former Tory MP has been highly critical of the committee and its members, labelling it a "kangaroo court". Nonetheless, Mr Johnson felt the need to resign before its findings were made public.

Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson. Picture: Alamy

The report is expected to have recommended a suspension from the House of Commons, which may have triggered a by-election in his former Uxbridge and South Ruislip constituency.

Instead, his constituents will go to the polls next month in a major electoral challenge for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak because of the resignation.

Mr Johnson's ally Nigel Adams also resigned and his arch-supporter Nadine Dorries has announced she will quit as an MP too.

The former prime minister has publicly clashed with Mr Sunak, accusing him of "talking rubbish" over his resignation honours list.

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