long-awaited report by the privileges committee has found that former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson deliberately misled parliament over partygate and was part of a campaign to abuse and intimidate MPs investigating him.
The report also mentioned that the former PM faced a 90-day suspension before he quit in a rage.
Johnson was also found to have knowingly misled the committee itself, breached Commons rules by leaking its findings last Friday, and undermined the democratic processes of parliament.
As a result, it was recommended Johnson be banned from getting the pass granted to ex-MPs that allows them privileged access to the Westminster estate.
Johnson was initially set to face a suspension from the parliament of 20 days, enough to trigger a recall petition that would probably have led to a by-election. But the committee said his blistering attempts to intimidate it last Friday would have ratcheted up the punishment to 90 days.
Two MPs on the committee – one Labour and the other from the SNP – had pushed for Johnson to be expelled from parliament. But the final report and sanction were signed off unanimously by all seven members.
“For the house to be given misleading information about the conduct of ministers and officials at the highest level of government, in the midst of the grave national emergency represented by the Covid-19 pandemic â€æ is a matter of great seriousness,” the report said.
Retaliation by Johnson in trying to paint the committee as a kangaroo court “amounts to an attack on our democratic institutions”, it added.
Johnson rubbished the findings and accused the committee members of trying to “bring about what is intended to be the final knife-thrust in a protracted political assassination”.
He said their findings were “preposterous” and a sign of “desperation”.
“This report is a charade,” Johnson said in a statement. “I was wrong to believe in the committee or its good faith. The terrible truth is that it is not I who has twisted the truth to suit my purposes. It is [the chair] Harriet Harman and her committee.”
Last week, Johnson stepped down as a Tory MP after being given advance sight of the Privileges Committee’s report. This has sparked a difficult byelection next month.
Johnson, whose career has seen a series of scandals and comebacks, led the Conservatives to a landslide victory in 2019 but was forced out by his own party less than three years later.
He had been awaiting the outcome of an investigation by a House of Commons standards committee over misleading statements he made to Parliament about a slew of gatherings in government buildings in 2020 and 2021 that breached pandemic lockdown rules.
Police eventually issued 126 fines over the late-night soirees, boozy parties and “wine time Fridays,” including one for Johnson, and the scandal helped hasten the end of his premiership.
Johnson has acknowledged misleading Parliament when he assured lawmakers that no rules had been broken, but he said he didn’t do so deliberately.