At UK hearing, Boris Johnson defends political career 2023

At a session with parliamentarians on Wednesday, a feisty Boris Johnson defended his political career by declaring, “hand on heart,” that he did not lie to parliament about Covid-19 lockdown parties.

The Committee of Privileges of Parliament is examining whether Johnson, who was removed from Downing Street in September, willfully or negligently misled the House of Commons in a series of comments in which he claimed that no rules were breached during the gatherings. If the committee determines that Johnson intentionally deceived legislators, he may be suspended. Any suspension lasting longer than ten days might result in an election to oust him from his seat in parliament and end his political career.

Lockdown parties: Boris Johnson states “I did not lie.”

The former leader, who last year explored an ambitious run for a second term as prime minister, mounted a long defense at the hearing, asserting that his comments to parliament were made in good faith.

Johnson, who has accused the committee of partiality, stated, “I’m here to say with all my heart that I did not lie before the House.” “When I made those assertions, I did it in good faith, based on what I honestly understood and thought at the time.”

The so-called partygate controversy contributed to Johnson’s final collapse after months of accusations that he and other key government members had attended alcohol-fueled celebrations in Downing Street in 2020 and 2021, when the majority of the British population was compelled to remain at home.

The outrage, repeated charges of lying about the parties, and reports that a Conservative politician had drunkenly molested two men ultimately led to the resignations of the majority of his cabinet colleagues, including the current prime minister, Rishi Sunak, who was also punished.

Thanking employees

Harriet Harman, the committee’s chair, stated that the committee will evaluate Johnson’s testimony and, if necessary, take more testimony. It will likely release its conclusions later in the year. She emphasized the significance of ministers telling the truth, stating that it is fundamental to the British parliamentary system.

Before presenting his evidence, Johnson was required to vow to speak the truth on a Bible at the beginning of the hearing. He stated that the investigation found no proof that he intentionally deceived the legislature and that the committee prohibited him from publishing a “huge number of excerpts” that he relied on in his defense.

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