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UK former PM Boris Johnson's political future in the balance over COVID-19 lockdown rules

Former UK prime minister Boris Johnson is fighting for his political career
Former UK prime minister Boris Johnson is fighting for his political career Copyright Kin Cheung/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved
Copyright Kin Cheung/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved
By Mark Armstrong with AFP
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UK former PM Boris Johnson's political future could be decided when he appears before a committee over allegations he knowingly misled parliament over COVID-19 lockdown allegations

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Britain's former prime minister Boris Johnson has admitted that he misled parliament by telling MPs that parties at his Downing Street office did not break COVID-19 lockdown rules.

But in written evidence to a parliamentary committee, he insisted that he acted in good faith. Mr Johnson was fined by police for breaking the COVID-19 rules his own government had put in place. 

In a statement, Johnson said: "I did not intentionally or recklessly mislead the House on December 01 2021, December 08, 2021, or on any other date.....I would never have dreamed of doing so."

Johnson will appear in person before the committee on Wednesday.

If it finds that the 58-year-old deliberately lied to the House of Commons he could be suspended, and ultimately face a recall election in his constituency, in which he holds a slim majority of just 7,210.

Johnson was forced out as prime minister after the latest in a series of scandals last July.

I did not intentionally or recklessly mislead the House
Boris Johnson
Former UK prime minister

The Metropolitan Police in London did issue a fine to Johnson for breaking COVID-19 lockdown rules and he has previously apologised and corrected the parliamentary record after insisting that the gatherings were above board.

Wednesday's hearing could determine Johnson's political future, despite talk that he is mulling a potential bid to return to high office.

If the privileges committee rule Mr Johnson was in contempt, MPs will get a vote on what sanction he could face.

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