UK parliamentary committee to conclude Boris Johnson ‘partygate’ inquiry

LONDON (AP) — A British parliamentary committee is meeting on Monday to wrap up its inquiry into whether former Prime Minister Boris Johnson misled lawmakers about which parties in his Downing Street office breached security restrictions. COVID-19 lockdown.

Members of Parliament’s Privileges Committee have pledged to continue the investigation into Johnson’s conduct after he unexpectedly quit as lawmaker on Friday and angrily accused political opponents of ousting him in a “witch hunt”.

The committee is expected to finalize its long-awaited report on Monday. British media report that the results could be published in the coming days.

Johnson, 58, said the privileges committee told him he would be punished for misleading Parliament over ‘partygate’, a series of parties and boozy gatherings in his office that breached strict restrictions pandemics that his government had imposed on the country.

He accused the committee, which includes members of the government and opposition parties, of bias and called it a “kangaroo court”. In response, the committee said Johnson “challenged the integrity” of parliament with his attack.

While Johnson has left Parliament and will no longer be affected by any decision to suspend him, the committee may choose to apply other sanctions, such as barring him from Parliament grounds.

Revelations that Johnson and his staff hosted office parties, birthday parties and “wine Fridays” in 2020 and 2021, at a time when millions were told not to see their loved ones or even to attend the family funeral, angered many Britons and contributed to his downfall. Johnson resigned as prime minister last summer.

Police fined him and other senior officials for breaking lockdown rules, but Johnson insisted to lawmakers he had not deliberately misled parliament at the course of gatherings.

He told the committee he “honestly believes” that the five events he attended, including the dispatch of a staff member and his own surprise birthday party, were “lawful work gatherings” intended to boost the morale of overworked staff in the face of a deadly pandemic. .

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