Former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson was grilled by a cross-party parliamentary panel for several hours on Wednesday to establish whether he knowingly misled the House of Commons over the party gate scandal of COVID law-breaking parties at Downing Street, reported China Daily.
Johnson was asked repeatedly whether he attended parties, broke lockdown rules, misled Parliament, and should resign.
Johnson denied deliberately lying, but if found to have done so, he could face suspension or even lose his seat in Parliament.
He told the committee that the rule-breaking events were wrong and “I bitterly regret it,” but added, “hand on heart, that I did not lie to the House.”
Johnson swears to “tell the truth and nothing but the truth” on a bible at the start of the session.
Committee Chair Harriet Harman kicked off by emphasising the panel leave party affiliations at the door – Johnson has accused them of being biased.
Harman continued to define the scope of the committee’s work.
She said that the panel is looking at whether Johnson’s statements were accurate, and how “quickly and comprehensively” any misleading statements he made were corrected.
The question is whether any errors were rectified in “good time”, she said.
The ex-PM accepted that he misled the Commons but denies he did so on purpose, arguing that he relied on the advice of senior staff.
Harman said that Johnson spoke about the question of Covid compliance in No 10 in the House of Commons more than 30 times.
She said that most particularly on the dates 1 December 2021, 8 December 2021 and 25 May 2022.
The former prime minister, whose exit from 10 Downing Street last year had been hastened by the party gate scandal, repeatedly denied COVID lockdown rules were broken within government quarters when asked in the Commons. (ANI)