Former prime minister is accused of throwing parties at the seat of government in England when the country was in lockdown
The Privileges Committee of the House of Commons of England evaluated that the former prime minister Boris Johnson deceived the parliamentarians about the parties made by him during lockdowns of the pandemic. A case report, known as “partygate”, was released this Thursday (June 15, 2023). Here is the full text, in English (2 MB).
“We conclude that, by deliberately deceiving the Chamber, Mr. Johnson committed a serious disrespect”, stated the disciplinary committee of the English Parliament in the 108-page document.
“The contempt was even more serious because it was committed by the prime minister, the most senior member of the government. There is no precedent for a prime minister to deliberately mislead the House”, he completed.
In the document, the committee listed 5 accusations against Johnson. Are they:
- “deliberately mislead the House”;
- “deliberately mislead the Committee”;
- “break trust”;
- “impeach the Committee and thereby undermine the House’s democratic process”;
- “being complicit in the Committee’s campaign of abuse and attempted intimidation”.
MPs also recommended that the conservative politician “not entitled to an alumni pass”, in reference to a rule that allows former prime ministers access to Parliament.
WHAT JOHNSON SAYS
To journalists, Johnson described the report as “trash” e “a lie”. He stated that the members of the committee are carrying out revenge against him.
On Friday (9.jun), he resigned as deputy. “It is very sad to leave Parliament, at least for now. But most of all, I am baffled and appalled that I could be forced out, in such an undemocratic way, by a committee chaired and managed by Harriet Harman, with such blatant bias.” said the former prime minister in a statement released by Guardian.
UNDERSTAND THE CASE
A report, authored by civil servant Sue Gray, released on May 25, 2022, exposed a scandal involving parties at the British seat of government during pandemic restrictions.
The episode led to a wave of indignation in the country and left former prime minister Boris Johnson, filmed at one of the parties, under pressure. The report did not specifically blame Johnson, but it did say that public leaders encouraged disregard for the rules.
Conversations via email and WhatsApp showed that employees had planned the celebrations in advance. In some messages, they give details about who would bring alcohol to the meetings.
At the time, the document disclosed detailed by photos that the minister participated in the celebrations. One was at his birthday celebration on June 19, 2020. In the report, Gray said Johnson was not informed of the meeting in advance.
At another party, held the night before Prince Phillip’s funeral in April 2021, attendees stayed until dawn at the seat of government.
A video, dated December 22, 2020, shows Boris Johnson and the finance minister accompanied by his aides at a Christmas party during the lockdown.
The disclosure of the scandal caused a crisis in the government and led Johnson to resign as prime minister in July last year.