Boris Johnson Slapped Down For Taking Too Long To Answer Partygate Questions

Bernard Jenkin told the former prime minister he was repeating himself during the privileges committee hearing.

Boris Johnson was slapped down for taking too long to answer questions about the partygate scandal during a crunch hearing.

The former prime minister is being interrogated by MPs on the privileges committee in an event that has the potential to end his political career.

He has been quizzed on his understanding of the Covid-19 guidance and what he knew about gatherings taking place under his nose in No.10.

However, MPs grew impatient with his answers, resulting in one senior Conservative MP telling him to stop repeating himself.

Sir Bernard Jenkin told Johnson: “I’m sorry, you’re giving very long answers and it’s taking longer than we need.

“And you’re repeating yourself quite a lot. Can we just get on with the questions?”

Chair of the meeting Harriet Harman went on to tell the west London MP to be “succinct” with his answers.

The committee is scrutinising the former PM over statements he made to MPs about the partygate scandal.

At the heart of their investigation is whether or not Johnson “misled” the House of Commons about what had gone on in Downing Street.

In his opening comments, Johnson swore “hand on heart” that he did not lie to the House of Commons.

Johnson swore on the King James Bible to tell the truth before issuing an apology and adding “hand on heart, I did not lie to the House”.

He went on: “When those statements were made, they were made in good faith and on the basis on what I honestly knew and believed at the time.”

If the committee decides Johnson did mislead MPs - and the Commons backs suspending him for 10 days or more - he could face a by-election in his Uxbridge and South Ruislip constituency.

However, there is a long process to get through before the saga potentially reaches that stage.

Yesterday Johnson submitted his so-called “defence dossier” - a 52 page document his team claimed will exonerate him.

In it Johnson accepted that he misled MPs but insisted his partygate denials were made “in good faith” based on what he “honestly” knew at the time.

The committee, meanwhile, released a 110-page pack of messages and evidence on Wednesday morning.

It revealed the claims of one No.10 official who claimed Boris Johnson had the opportunity to “shut down” lockdown parties but joined in instead.


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