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MPs to vote on whether Boris Johnson should be investigated for misleading parliament

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(The Guardian) MPs will vote on Thursday on whether to refer Boris Johnson for a formal parliamentary investigation into whether he misled them about his knowledge of Covid law-breaking parties.

Lindsay Hoyle, the House of Commons Speaker, granted a request by Labour for the matter to be examined given the prime minister insisted repeatedly that no rules were broken in Downing Street during lockdown, but was later issued with a fine by police for attending a birthday party.

The ministerial code, which bears Johnson’s signature, says the punishment for misleading parliament is resignation.

But since the prime minister is the only person who can enforce the code and he has resisted calls to stand down, the fresh investigation would pile further pressure on him.

Labour and the Liberal Democrats had requested for Hoyle to grant a debate and vote on referring the row to the privileges committee, a cross-party group of seven MPs with a Conservative majority but chaired by the Labour MP Chris Bryant.

Downing Street and the Conservative whips’ office may heavily whip their MPs to oppose the move, telling them it will be treated like a confidence vote in Johnson.

If MPs vote to let the procedure committee commence an investigation, it will be able to call for papers, summon witnesses and recommend a sanction – such as suspension or expulsion.

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