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Gov't U-Turn Could See Parliamentary Probe Into PM & Partygate Go Ahead


Following the gov'ts U-turn on tabling a 'wrecking amendment' to a Labour motion seeking to force a parliamentary enquiry into whether PM Boris Johnson misled the House of Commons over his actions in the 'partygate' scandal (see 1134BST bullet), it appears that the gov't has given up hope on winning the vote and the motion is likely to succeed.

  • The Commons is extremely empty on the gov't benches, indicating that many Conservative MPs have stayed home and will not participate or vote, meaning that the opposition seem likely to push the motion through. Rather than whips being confident that their MPs would vote with the gov't, it seems that there has been a realisation this morning that a large number of Conservatives would defy the whip. Therefore gov't changed tack at last minute to avoid large number of Conservative MPs voting against the gov't, and allowing them to stay away.
  • This will see the Commons priviliges committee investigate claims that the PM misled the House (a severe accusation) in denying that he broke COVID-19 lockdown rules in 2020, only for the Metropolitan police to issue him and Chancellor Rishi Sunak with fixed penalty notices for doing so.
  • Priviliges committee investigation likely to inflict further damage to Johnson's premiership, keeping the 'partygate' story at the top of the news agenda in the UK for some time.

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