Boris Johnson allies vow to vote down 'vindictive' partygate report as they launch counter-offensive

jacob rees mogg, nadine dorries, michael fabricant

Johnson allies rallying slowly

PA
Sam Montgomery

By Sam Montgomery


Published: 15/06/2023

- 13:47

Updated: 15/06/2023

- 13:54

Despite partygate report’s damning verdict Johnson allies have vowed to vote against the report in Parliament on Monday

Boris Johnson loyalists have vowed not to endorse a parliamentary report into the former Prime Minister's behaviour on Monday, accusing the authors of "sheer vindictiveness".

Those close to the ex-Conservative leader accused the privileges committee of taking revenge in the conclusions of its investigation into lockdown parties in Downing Street.


It found that Johnson committed “repeated contempts” of Parliament by deliberately misleading MPs. It said it would have recommended a 90 day suspension from the Commons if the Johnson had not resigned as an MP, but would now recommend he have his rights to a post-office parliamentary pass removed.

Simon Clarke, MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, said: “I am amazed at the harshness of today’s report by the Privileges Committee. I believed Boris before and I believe him today.

Nadine and Boris in High vis

Boris published a 1,700 statemennt of his own

PA

“This punishment is absolutely extraordinary to the point of sheer vindictiveness, and I will vote against this report on Monday.”

Brendan Clarke-Smith, Conservative MP for Bassetlaw, provided some back up vocals: “I am appalled at what I have read and the spiteful, vindictive and overreaching conclusions of the report.

“I won’t be supporting the recommendations and will be speaking against them both publicly and in the House on Monday. I’m backing fairness and justice - not kangaroo courts.”

Meanwhile, Jacob Rees-Mogg told GB News: "The report is in danger of making the House of Commons look foolish."

\u200bMichael Fabricant

Michael Fabricant

PA

For his part, the former PM lashed out with a lengthy essay of his own, condemning the partygate probe as a “lie”, “absurd”, “deranged” and the “final knife-thrust in a protracted political assassination.”

Speaking ahead of the report's release, Michael Fabricant MP proclaimed: “Not having seen the report, I believe that he did not willingly intend to mislead parliament but we shall see.”

Talking on Times radio he added: "People talk about not impugning the integrity of the community as if they were a college of cardinals."

Nadine Dorries also criticised the privileges committee declaring on Twitter: "This report has overreached and revealed it’s true pre-determined intentions.”

Nadine Dorries\u200b

Nadine Dorries

PA

The Former Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport labelled the report as “quite bizarre” before turning on Harman who she perceives to have “declared her position before it began.”

Dorries said: “Any Conservative MP who would vote for this report is fundamentally not a Conservative and will be held to account by members and the public. Deselections may follow. It’s serious.

“MPs will now have to show this committee what real justice looks like and how it’s done.”

She also criticised committee member Bernard Jenkin, accusing him of attending a lockdown breaking gathering during the pandemic.

Jacob Rees-Mogg

Last night the senior MP was accused of attending a drinks gathering for his wife's birthday.

The Johnson camp are using the allegations to claim hypocrisy.

However, the condemnation and consensus over the outcome of the privileges committee report has largely drowned out the chorus of dismay.

Tim Loughton, a Tory MP and former minister, told Times Radio that Johnson should “shut up and go away” and branded his allies a “mob”.

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