Michael Gove To Abstain From Vote On Boris Johnson Partygate Report

Levelling up secretary says punishment suggested by privileges committee is "not merited".
Michael Gove
Michael Gove

Michael Gove has revealed he will abstain from Monday’s vote on the partygate report into Boris Johnson, arguing its suggested punishment is “not merited”.

The Commons privileges committee concluded Johnson deliberately misled parliament when he said no Covid rules were broken in No.10.

It has recommended he be banned from getting an ex-MP’s parliamentary pass and said if he were still an MP should have been suspended for 90-days.

MPs will vote on Monday whether to endorse the committee’s report or not.

Speaking to the BBC’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg programme, the levelling up secretary said while it was a “good report” he would not support it.

“I will not vote. I will abstain,” he said. “There are parts of I think are excellent work, I don’t agree with the conclusion.”

Gove added: “The decision to impose a 90-day penalty is not merited by the evidence the committee have put forward.”

The veteran cabinet minister, who was sacked by Johnson in the dying days of his time in No.10, said there were “clear areas” where the ex-PM “fell short of what should have been expected”.

Rishi Sunak has not said whether he will vote in favour, against or abstain on Monday.

Asked if the prime minister, who has been engulfed in a public row with Johnson over honours, should turn up to vote, Gove said: “I should not give advice to any other individual MP.”

The sanctions proposed by the Tory-majority committee are expected to pass the Commons.

It comes as the partygate scandal was re-ignited after the Daily Mirror published a video showing Tory staffers dancing and drinking in party HQ in December 2020.


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