Boris Johnson: The five key takeaways from the Privileges Committee's partygate report

Responding to its publication on Thursday, Mr Johnson hit out at what he called a 'deranged conclusion', ITV News' Deputy Political Editor Anushka Asthana and UK Editor Paul Brand report

A parliamentary report has found that Boris Johnson deliberately misled Parliament with denials over partygate before launching what amounted to an "attack on our democratic institutions".

The verdict, which was announced by the Privileges Committee, said that it would recommend a 90-day suspension from Parliament for Mr Johnson, had he not resigned as an MP.

At 106 pages and 30,000 words long, the document covers both the assurances the former prime minister gave to MPs over gatherings in Downing Street, during the coronavirus pandemic, and his subsequent criticism of the committee tasked with investigating his behaviour.

Here, ITV News takes a look at the key points to emerge from the damming verdict.

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MPs were lied to on four occasions

On four separate occasions the committee found that Mr Johnson had misled the House of Commons by claiming that Covid rules and guidance were followed at all times in Number 10.

The dates are as follows:

  • December 1 2021

  • December 8 2021

  • January 12 2022

  • May 25 2022

'Repeated' contempts of Parliament

Mr Johnson's claim he relied on "repeated reassurances" that rules had not been broken amounted to misleading the Commons, according to the committee.

The report said this related to comments made by Mr Johnson in December 2021 and that he had "personal knowledge about gatherings which he should have disclosed" - including the lockdown Christmas party on December 18 2020.

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Meanwhile, Mr Johnson was found to have misled MPs by failing to tell the Commons "about his own knowledge of the gatherings where the rules or guidance had been broken".

According to the document, Mr Johnson also misled the House by insisting on waiting for former civil servant Sue Gray's report to be published before he could answer questions.

The committee said the former prime minister should not have done this when he had "personal knowledge which he did not reveal".

Disingenuous denials and 'intending to mislead'

The former prime minister was found to be "disingenuous" with the committee in a number of ways, including by adopting a "narrow and restricted interpretation" of the assurances he gave to the Commons.

"We came to the view that some of Mr Johnson's denials and explanations were so disingenuous that they were by their very nature deliberate attempts to mislead the Committee and the House, while others demonstrated deliberation because of the frequency with which he closed his mind to the truth," the report said.

Boris Johnson was found by the Privileges Committee to have lied to MPs on four separate occasions. Credit: PA

As well as being reckless, Mr Johnson intended to mislead the House, the report concluded.

The report said: "Someone who is repeatedly reckless and continues to deny that which is patent is a person whose conduct is sufficient to demonstrate intent.

"Many aspects of Mr Johnson's defence are not credible: taken together, they form sufficient basis for a conclusion that he intended to mislead."

Recommended punishments

As a result of its findings, the committee said that it would recommend a 90-day suspension for Mr Johnson from Parliament.

But, due to Mr Johnson's resignation as an MP, he will not have to serve the punishment, which would have enabled a by-election to be triggered in his Uxbridge and South Ruislip constituency.

MPs are also typically given former member passes when they step down from their roles.

However, the committee said that on this occasion such as pass should not be made available to Mr Johnson. Consequently, he would be banned from accessing the parliamentary estate in Westminster

'Egregious breach of confidentiality'

The report said Mr Johnson committed an "egregious breach of confidentiality" by revealing the contents of the warning letter he received from the committee when he resigned as an MP.

Mr Johnson's dramatic exit from politics was accompanied by a scathing statement, where the former prime minister accused the committee's report of being "riddled with inaccuracies".

The committee made reference to the statement, noting Mr Johnson's claim that he had been "forced" out by the report.

"This attack on a committee carrying out its remit from the democratically elected House itself amounts to an attack on our democratic institutions," the report said.

"We consider that these statements are completely unacceptable. In our view this conduct, together with the egregious breach of confidentiality, is a serious further contempt."

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