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Boris Johnson deliberately misled parliament over COVID parties, report finds

Boris Johnson deliberately misled parliament over COVID parties, report finds
Copyright Matt Dunham/Copyright 2022 The AP. All rights reserved
Copyright Matt Dunham/Copyright 2022 The AP. All rights reserved
By Euronews with AP
Published on Updated
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The former prime minister has described the findings about his conduct as "anti-democratic" and "deranged"

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A new report has found that former British prime minister Boris Johnson deliberately misled parliament over his breach of COVID-19 regulations while he was leading the country, saying that his actions amounted to "a deliberate closing of his mind or at least reckless behaviour".

Parliament's Privileges Committee has spent 14 months investigating Johnson's conduct over “partygate,” a series of boozy gatherings in his office that broke strict COVID-19 restrictions that his government had imposed on the country.

Specifically, it was tasked with establishing whether he lied to parliament about the events, which he was accused of taking part in, despite knowing they breached then-current lockdown rules.

The committee, which investigates matters of contempt involving MPs, also emphasised that Johnson lied to it as well as to the whole House, and recommended he should be denied a former Member's pass for the Houses of Parliament.

Johnson, 58, angrily quit as a lawmaker on Friday after the committee informed him in advance that he would be sanctioned. He described the seven-member committee — which included both the ruling Conservatives and opposition party members — as a “kangaroo court,” and accused political opponents of driving him out in a “witch hunt.”

Among other findings, the panel's report writes that had Johnson not resigned his seat with immediate effect, its members "would have recommended that he be suspended from the service of the House for 90 days for repeated contempts and for seeking to undermine the parliamentary process".

Johnson has today released a 1,700-word statement on its findings, which he lambasted as "anti-democratic".

"This is rubbish," he said. "It is a lie. In order to reach this deranged conclusion, the committee is obliged to say a series of things that are patently absurd, or contradicted by the facts."

Johnson's resignation has triggered a by-election in his suburban London seat, which is a top target for the opposition Labour Party. Two other Conservative MPs have also resigned their seats in recent days.

Our journalists are working on this story and will update it as soon as more information becomes available.

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