Boris Johnson deliberately misled Parliament over Covid lockdown breaches: Inquiry

London |Friday, 2023 11:51:05 AM IST
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An inquiry report by a UK Parliamentary committee revealed on Thursday that former Prime Minister Boris Johnson deliberately misled the House of Commons over breaches during the Covid-19 lockdown.

The report by the Privileges Committee found that Johnson "committed a serious contempt" of Parliament when, after the so-called "Partygate" scandal which revealed that illegal gatherings took place at Downing Street, the former Prime Minister told the House that lockdown rules were followed at all times, CNN reported.

"The contempt was all the more serious because it was committed by the Prime Minister, the most senior member of the government," the Privileges Committee wrote in its report.

"There is no precedent for a Prime Minister having been found to have deliberately misled the House. He misled the House on an issue of the greatest importance to the House and to the public, and did so repeatedly."

The inquiry report added that Johnson also misled the committee when he presented evidence in his defence.

The investigation's focus was on Johnson's conduct during the Covid-19 pandemic, when he was Prime Minister and found by police to have breached his own rules.

The report concluded thatJohnson should have been suspended from the House for 90 days, adding that he "complicit in the campaign of abuse and attempted intimidation of the Committee".

"We recommend that he should not be entitled to a former Member's pass."

The report comes after Johnson resigned as a Conservative MP on June 9, claiming that he was "forced out of Parliament" over the Partygate scandal.

In his resignation statement, Johnson described the Privileges Committee as a "kangaroo court" whose purpose "from the beginning has been to find me guilty, regardless of the facts".

Johnson had previously admitted of misleading Parliament when he gave evidence to the Committee in a combative hearing in March - but denied doing it on purpose.

He said that social distancing had not been "perfect" at gatherings in Downing Street during Covid lockdowns but insisted the guidelines, as he understood them, were followed at all times.

--IANS ksk/

( 354 Words)

2023-06-15-14:04:04 (IANS)