Will MPs investigate whether Boris Johnson held them in contempt?

Below is the motion to be debated and voted on tomorrow, for an investigation of whether Boris Johnson committed an act of holding Parliament in contempt by misleading MPs when he said there were no parties in Downing Street and no Covid rules were broken.

Possible sanctions include suspension or even expulsion from the House.

It is highly unlikely to come to that however, because even for the investigation to happen, large numbers of Tory MPs would have to vote with the opposition or abstain (and the same would be true if it ever came to sanctions).

Tory MPs are currently of the view they don’t wish to replace their leader, and if he were forced to suffer the indignity of being investigated by the Privileges Committee maybe he would feel obliged to quit.

Though I guess that indignity is no worse than being investigated and fined by the Met Police, and Boris Johnson did not feel that was a resigning matter.

The stakes in partygate are as high or as low as the PM chooses to make them, given that his MPs see no credible alternative to Johnson remaining in 10 Downing St.

Here is the wording of the motion in full:

"That, this House

"(1) notes that, given the issue of fixed penalty notices by the police in relation to events in 10 Downing Street and the Cabinet Office, assertions the Rt hon Member for Uxbridge and South Ruislip has made on the floor of the House about the legality of activities in 10 Downing Street and the Cabinet Office under Covid regulations, including but not limited to the following answers given at Prime Minister’s Questions: 1 December 2021, that all guidance was followed in No. 10., Official Report vol. 704, col. 909; 8 December 2021 that I have been repeatedly assured since these allegations emerged that there was no party and that no Covid rules were broken, Official Report vol. 705, col. 372; 8 December 2021 that I am sickened myself and furious about that, but I repeat what I have said to him: I have been repeatedly assured that the rules were not broken, Official Report vol. 705, col. 372 and 8 December 2021 the guidance was followed and the rules were followed at all times, Official Report vol. 705, col. 379, appear to amount to misleading the House; and

"(2) orders that this matter be referred to the Committee of Privileges to consider whether the hon Member’s conduct amounted to a contempt of the House, but that the Committee shall not begin substantive consideration of the matter until the inquiries currently being conducted by the Metropolitan Police have been concluded."