Peston: Boris warned he should be ‘hugely worried’ over partygate probe – ‘Very difficult’

Partygate: Tory MP is challenged on Boris Johnson's successor

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Former Downing Street Chief of staff Nick Timothy told ITV’s Robert Peston that Mr Johnson should be “hugely worried” about a vote on Thursday on whether a committee should investigate him for misleading Parliament over his earlier denials that he had broken lockdown rules. Mr Timothy, who left his position after the Conservative disastrous 2017 election campaign, said it was “very difficult” to avoid the conclusion that Mr Johnson had “misled Parliament and the public” over his involvement in the lockdown breaking social gatherings at Downing Street.

He said: “I think he should be hugely worried about the process we’re going to see over the next few months.

“I think Conservative MPs will by and large want to wait until those processes are complete.

“But really, certainly from my perspective we already know what we need to know and that is that the Prime Minister imposed laws on the country and he broke them personally. And it’s very difficult to avoid the conclusion that he misled Parliament and the public in having done so.”

Host Robert Peston turned to Labour MP Bell Ribeiro-Addy and asked: “Now Bell, there are some of your colleagues that are pretty explicit to me that they’d rather that he stayed as Tory leader as they think he’s an easier target for Labour than anybody who might replace him.”

However, Ms Ribeiro-Addy was adamant that Mr Johnson should “go” with the Streatham MP, arguing that the talk of “processes” was making people “annoyed”.

She said: “I think it’s time for him to go. Even this whole discussion about processes must make people across the country feel really annoyed.

“Especially those people who were fined. I know a nurse that was fined £10,000 for protesting by herself under Covid rules.

“So far the PM has been fined £50, he’s not facing any further consequences. 

“Until we have this committee and that committee and that process and that process. When it’s very clear that he has broken the law.

“Ignorance has never been a defence in the law but it can’t be a defence at all for the person that put the law in place.

“He’s completely disrespected the country and he simply has to resign.”

If MPs vote for an inquiry, a privilege committee, comprising seven MPs, could recommend various sanctions against Mr Johnson including an apology, suspension or expulsion from the House of Commons. 

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