LONDON, March 22 (PTI) — Former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will be grilled for hours by a cross-party parliamentary group on Wednesday to determine whether he deliberately misled the Street of Commons in the party-gate scandal of Downing’s COVID-breaking party. .
Ahead of the oral evidence meeting, the House of Commons Privileges Committee released a new body of evidence, including photographs and statements by Johnson’s then-close aides.
The seven-member committee tasked with scrutinizing members of parliament said it was releasing the material for the benefit of those following the oral evidence session.
“These documents include evidence and material that MPs will refer to during the oral questioning process,” it said, adding that most of the material had been released previously.
The documents include written evidence from Martin Reynolds, Johnson’s former principal private secretary when he was prime minister, who claims he questioned the “reality” of claiming in parliament that all COVID guidelines were being followed.
Reynolds said Johnson agreed to remove references to the guidelines but then went on to tell the Commons the next day that “the guidelines were followed and the rules were followed”.
In his own written evidence released on Tuesday, the 58-year-old former prime minister admitted he did mislead MPs about partygate, but he did so with good intentions.
“I admit that the House of Commons has been misled by my assertion that Number 10 was in full compliance with the rules and guidelines,” his testimony read.
“But when these statements were made, they were made in good faith and based on what I honestly knew and believed at the time. I did not knowingly or recklessly Misleading the House. I would never have dreamed of doing that,” he said.
The former prime minister, who left 10 Downing Street last year amid the Partygate scandal, has repeatedly denied breaking COVID lockdown rules in government departments when questioned in the House of Commons.
The 58-year-old backbench Conservative MP has since sought to discredit the privilege committee’s interim report, saying it was “highly partisan” and “significantly outside its remit”.
His oral evidence comes as parliament votes on his successor, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s Windsor framework to secure a new post-Brexit deal with the European Union (EU) on rules for the British territory of Northern Ireland and neighboring EU member Ireland.
Both Johnson and Liz Truss, who briefly succeeded him as prime minister last year, said they would vote against Sunak’s deal.
Downing Street said the Windsor framework proved the UK had “taken back control”, adding it was “the best deal for the people and businesses of Northern Ireland”.
With the backing of the opposition Labor Party, Sunak’s bill is expected to pass the House of Commons without a hitch.
(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from a Syndicated News feed, the content body may not have been modified or edited by LatestLY staff)