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Government ditches attempt to delay Boris Johnson Partygate

The authorities has ditched an attempt to delay a vote on a brand new probe into whether or not Boris Johnson misled parliament over Partygate.

Conservative MPs might be given a free vote on Labour’s movement in search of a Commons privilege committee investigation into claims the PM didn’t inform the reality in regards to the scandal.

Speaking solely moments earlier than a debate on the movement, Commons Leader Mark Spencer mentioned: The prime minister has indicated he’s eager for the House to determine on the business later at present.”

The Tory minister added: “The vote on the unamended House business will be a free vote to all Conservative MPs and that’ll be the case this afternoon.”

Tory MPs had been deeply uneasy in regards to the authorities modification aimed toward pushing again a vote till after the Metropolitan Police inquiry. One ex-minister instructed The Independent it seemed like “a blocking move”.

A senior authorities supply claimed that Mr Johnson was “happy to face” a parliamentary inquiry after the U-turn noticed Tory MPs granted a free vote on Thursday afternoon.

The supply mentioned: “He’s happy to face whatever inquiries parliament sees fit, and is happy for the House to decide how it wishes to proceed today and therefore will not be whipping Conservative MPs.”

Labour mentioned the federal government had been pressured into “humiliating” U-turn after being caught in an tried “cover up” – and urged Tory backbenchers to vote for the movement.

Deputy Labour chief Angela Rayner mentioned: “This is humiliating for Conservative MPs who were being pressured to vote for the government’s cover-up amendment.”

She added: “Tory MPs should do the right thing, respect the sacrifices that their constituents made during the pandemic, and vote in the national interest.”

Speaking in India earlier on Thursday, Mr Johnson mentioned MPs ought to have the “full facts” earlier than deciding whether or not the parliament ought to examine him.

Education secretary Nadhim Zahawi had additionally urged Tory MPs to vote for the delaying modification, and attacked the Labour movement as “shenanigans” and “petty politics”.

Vote on Boris Johnson investigation dismissed as Labour ‘shenanigans’ by minister

Sir Keir Starmer – opening the controversy on investigating claims that Mr Johnson misled the House – mentioned the movement “seeks to defend the simple principle that honesty, integrity and telling the truth matter in our politics”.

Urging Tory MPs to again the movement supported by opposition events, he added: “It’s a principle that’s been cherished by Conservatives for as long as that party has existed … Everyone should support this passing today.”

Although the Labour-led movement asks MPs to vote on the problems at present, it says the committee’s inquiry mustn’t start in earnest till police have concluded their very own investigation into lockdown-busting events.

Senior authorities figures now count on the movement to cross, which means Mr Johnson will face an investigation into his feedback about events – together with his December declare “that all guidance was followed in No 10”.

Mr Johnson’s aides are additionally braced for him to obtain a number of fines, having already been handed one fixed-penalty discover for the gathering on his 56th birthday. He is assumed to have been at six of the 12 occasions below investigation by Scotland Yard.

Meanwhile, Sir Keir has withdrawn accusations he made that Mr Johnson had been essential of BBC journalists over their protection of the Ukraine invasion.

“Since then the government has corrected the record and said the prime minister’s comments only referred to the Archbishop [of Canterbury] and not the BBC, so I’m more than happy to echo that correction and withdraw my comments of yesterday.”

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