Boris Johnson rages at ‘absurdly unfair’ partygate probe as he demands: ‘Publish your nonsense!’

Boris Johnson running

Boris pictured returning from a run this morning in Brightwell-cum-Sotwell

Sam Montgomery

By Sam Montgomery

Published: 14/06/2023

- 08:37

Updated: 14/06/2023

- 12:53

Former PM impatient at privileges committee delays caused by his own last-minute letter curveball

Conclusions from the partygate investigation have been delayed once more as the privileges committee cites receiving a letter from Boris Johnson at 11.57pm on Monday.

The partygate report, which is expected to note that Johnson misled MPs over lockdown-defying gatherings, was due to be published on Tuesday, then Wednesday and is now expected to be issued on Thursday.

In a statement published on Tuesday night, Johnson said: “The privileges committee should publish their report and let the world judge their nonsense. They have no excuse for delay.

“Their absurdly unfair rules do not even allow any criticism of their findings.

Boris Johnson driving

Boris has labelled the privileges committee's partygate investigation as a 'witch hunt'


“I have made my views clear to the committee in writing, and will do so more widely when they finally publish.”

Though Johnson berates the privileges committee for not allowing criticism, it seems that the committee has delayed publishing the report to allow time to review the ‘point-by-point pushback’ of the conclusions that Johnson sent over around midnight on Monday.

A privileges committee spokesman said on Monday: “A letter enclosing further representations from Mr Johnson was received by the committee at 11.57pm last night. The committee is dealing with these and will report promptly.”

Johnson had been granted early access to the committee’s conclusions as part of the “Maxwellisation” process, whereby those criticised in an official report are permitted to respond before its publication.

Boris Johnson

Starmer has hit out at Boris' 'political tantrum'


On Friday, Johnson announced he had resigned as an MP with immediate effect after reading a draft version of the report, labelling the ordeal a “witch hunt”.

The report is expected to conclude that Johnson misled MPs when he denied in the Commons that pandemic lockdown rules had been breached during events at Number 10.

A Johnson supporter who is familiar with the letter told the Telegraph: “If they are going to publish the report, there should be something on the record from Boris saying what a load of baloney this is.”

Johnson has laid out a rebuttal in the letter drafted by the legal team at Peters & Peters, which his allies believe should be published alongside the committee’s findings.

\u200bDanny Beales

Danny Beales is running on the Labour ticket in Boris' former constituency


Riding Johnson’s coattails all the way out the door, groupies Nadine Dorries and Nigel Adams tendered their resignations as MPs in solidarity with the former PM.

By-election dates for Johnson’s Uxbridge and South Ruislip constituency and Adams’ Selby and Ainsty are set to be announced today and are expected to land in mid to late July.

Meanwhile, Dorries is yet to formally stand down despite going public with the news of her resignation last week.

Speaking at London Tech Week on Tuesday, Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer said: “It is very unusual to have it when they are in office and now we have got three by-elections caused by just political fall-outs.

“Often you have by-elections because someone sadly dies or is very ill or there is some finding against them.

“To have three by-elections which are essentially political tantrums is really unprecedented.”

On 9 June, Johnson, 58, released a 1,000-word resignation statement stressing he was "bewildered and appalled" by the privileges committee's drive to oust him from the House of Commons.

The former prime minister said: "It is very sad to be leaving Parliament - at least for now - but above all I am bewildered and appalled that I can be forced out, anti-democratically, by a committee chaired and managed, by Harriet Harman, with such egregious bias.

"I am being forced out by a tiny handful of people, with no evidence to back up their assertions, and without approval even of Conservative party members let alone the wider electorate.

"I believe that a dangerous and unsettling precedent is being set."

Allies have suggested that Boris Johnson could work with Nigel Farage as the former prime minister looks to launch a Churchillian-style comeback.

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