vote took place yesterday to back a report by the privileges committee’s report, which found that former MP Boris Johnson misled the party and the public during Covid-19 lockdowns. In all, 354 MPs backed the Partygate report, while only seven Tories voted against it — but 225 Conservative MPs did not vote at all.
Johnson was found to have committed five serious offences, including deliberately misleading the Commons when he said that no Covid rules were broken, or that he had been assured none were broken.
Johnson told them he knew nothing about lockdown-breaking social gatherings in and around Downing Street — the report recommended a 90-day suspension from Parliament. This is a new investigation, and includes the Downing Street Christmas party on December 14, 2020, where Tory staffers were filmed dancing and joking about “bending” Covid rules after being invited to “jingle and mingle”.
Which Tory MPs voted in support of the report?
Alex Chalk (MP for Cheltenham), Penny Mordaunt (MP for Portsmouth North), and Gillian Keegan (MP for Chichester) are among those who voted in support of the report. Ex-prime minister Theresa May also voted in support.
Who voted against the Partygate report?
Six Tories voted against the report, according to the Government: Joy Morrisey (MP for Beaconsfield), Karl McCartney (MP for Lincoln), Adam Holloway (MP for Gravesham), Heather Wheeler (MP for South Derbyshire), Nick Fletcher (MP for Don Valley), and Bill Cash (MP for Stone).
Jacob Rees-Mogg, who did not vote, compared the privileges committee to “communist China”, and said the move to strip Mr Johnson of his parliamentary pass was going “from the vindictive to the ridiculous”.
He said: “For some reason, the privileges committee thinks it’s in communist China, and that we must kowtow, and then they go on to say that Mr Johnson was ‘complicit in the campaign of abuse and attempted intimidation of committee’ without one single, solidarity shred of evidence.”
How did Rishi Sunak vote?
Rishi Sunak did not vote, and was accused of being “too weak” to stand up to Mr Johnson after the PM dodged the Commons debate as the privileges committee report was approved.
No 10 have said that there are “no plans” for the prime minister to strip honours from two Tories who were at the party at CCHQ. His official spokesman said he had “followed the process” of leaving resignation honours to the Lords authorities.
During Prime Minister’s Questions, a debate ensued between Mr Sunak and Labour leader Keir Starmer.
Sir Keir said: “Honours should be for public service not Tory cronies.”
And then he added: “Isn’t this the case: He was too weak to block Johnson’s list, and that also means that those who spent their time helping cover up Johnson’s lawbreaking are rewarded by becoming lawmakers for the rest of their lives?”
The Prime Minister said in his defence: “As I said, I and the Government followed due process and convention. Prime ministers of both parties have always upheld the convention of non-interference on political honours.”