UK ‘Partygate’ Scandal: Ex-PM Johnson Questioned by MPs

    UK ‘Partygate’ Scandal: Ex-PM Johnson Questioned by MPs
    Last updated Mar 23, 2023
    Image credit: Anadolu AgencyGetty Images [via CNN]


    • On Wednesday, former UK PM Boris Johnson faced the seven-member Commons Privileges Committee as part of an investigation into whether he knowingly misled Parliament about a series of gatherings in Downing Street that broke COVID lockdown restrictions.
    • Johnson argued with lawmakers during the three-hour hearing, admitting that he had broken social distancing rules and misled lawmakers but claiming that he did so unintentionally.
    • In December 2021, reports of the parties appeared, with Johnson insisting that he and his staff had always adhered to the COVID regulations in place at the time. This was later found to be untrue.
    • During the hearing, the former leader rejected suggestions that he should have been aware of social distancing rules and restrictions, saying, "if it was obvious to me these events were contrary to the guidance and the rules, it must have been equally obvious to dozens of others, including the most senior officials in the government, most of them like me responsible for drawing up the rules.”
    • Johnson also defended the rule-breaking events — including a birthday gathering for which he was fined — as being "necessary for work purposes." Committee Chair Harriet Harman called Johnson's reasoning "flimsy," saying it "did not amount to much at all."
    • If the committee finds Johnson to have deliberately misled lawmakers, he could be suspended. Any suspension lasting longer than 10 days could lead to an election to remove him from his parliamentary seat.


    Right narrative

    It's very likely that Boris Johnson knowingly misled parliament, however, he will probably survive any recall petition or by-election thrown at him, and the former prime minister is still well-loved in his constituency. While Johnson, in his prime, achieved more than the likes of Theresa May or Gordon Brown, the hour for him to return has now passed. If Johnson's ambition is still unquenched, he must ride out the current investigation and set his sights on a new objective.

    Left narrative

    Rule-breaker Boris Johnson has lost whatever shred of dignity he used to have. The former prime minister is mistaking the UK for fools, pretending he was unaware that he was breaking the regulations that he himself imposed. In reality, his misrepresentation of the truth has more than tarnished his image.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 14% chance that Boris Johnson will return as the leader of the UK Conservative Party before 2026, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

    Political split



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