Privilege: Conduct of Right Hon. Boris Johnson — 19 Jun 2023 at 21:24
That this House approves the Fifth Report from the Committee of Privileges (HC 564).
“any act or omission which obstructs or impedes either House of Parliament in the performance of its functions, or which obstructs or impedes any Member or officer of such House in the discharge of their duty, or which has a tendency, directly or indirectly, to produce such results”.
“abuse and attempted intimidation of the Committee.”
“an attack on our democratic institutions.”
“apply the general principles of fairness, the rules of the House, and…procedural precedents”.
“he deprecated terms such as ‘witch hunt’ and ‘kangaroo court’”,
“unsustainable interpretation of the Guidance”
“both disingenuous and a retrospective contrivance to mislead the House”.
“Purported response of Mr Johnson to the Committee’s warning letter”.
“I made a mistake. I apologise.” -[Official Report, 2 December 1985; Vol. 88, c. 84W.]
“The overall thrust of Mr Johnson’s evidence to the Committee has been to downplay the significance and narrow the scope of the assertions he made to the House.”
“contrary to common English usage”
“advancing an unsustainable interpretation of Guidance”.
“There is no precedent for a Prime Minister having been found to have deliberately misled the House. He misled the House on an issue of the greatest importance to the House and to the public, and did so repeatedly.”
“serve Scotland very well for decades to come”.
“Johnson would not recognise truth, whether about his private or political life, if confronted by it in an identity parade”?
“Deliberately misleading a Select Committee is certainly a contempt of the House…Were Sir Michael Grylls still a Member we would recommend a substantial period of suspension from the service of the House, augmented to take account of his deceit.”
“freedom of speech and debates or proceedings in Parliament ought not to be impeached or questioned in any court or place out of Parliament.”
“does not mean, ‘We have got our majority, never mind how, and we have our lease of office for five years, so what are you going to do about it?’ That is not democracy, that is only small party patter, which will not go down with the mass of the people of this country.”
“there is the broad feeling in our country that the people should rule, continuously rule, and that public opinion, expressed by all constitutional means, should shape, guide, and control the actions of Ministers who are their servants and not their masters.”-[Official Report, 1 November 1947; Vol. 444, c. 206-7.]
“The sickness of an unrepresentative sector of our society should not detract from the robust ability of our people as a whole to face the challenge of the future. And in preparing to face that challenge, let us frankly recognise that the inspiration and the leadership must come first here in this House.”-[Official Report, 17 June 1963; Vol. 679, c. 54.]
“It is quite clear that the issue of a notice is not a conviction. It is not an admission of guilt nor any proof that a crime has been committed. The scheme of the Act makes that clear. Any person reading the form would plainly understand that it is not to be regarded as a conviction and will not be held against him save in the respect mentioned. It seems therefore clear, both as a matter of the statutory scheme and as a matter of what a person accepting such a notice would reasonably be led to believe, that he was not admitting any offence, not admitting any criminality, and would not have any stain imputed to his character.”
“we conclude that Mr Johnson is unlikely to have been unaware”.
“complicit in the campaign of abuse and attempted intimidation of the Committee”
“Our guiding principles included being transparent.”
“we leave our party interests at the door of the committee room”.
“The contention is that there was a real danger or reasonable apprehension or suspicion that Lord Hoffmann might have been biased, that is to say, it is alleged that there is an appearance of bias not actual bias.
The fundamental principle is that a man may not be a judge in his own cause. This principle, as developed by the courts, has two very similar but not identical implications. First it may be applied literally: if a judge is in fact a party to the litigation or has a financial or proprietary interest in its outcome then he is indeed sitting as a judge in his own cause. In that case, the mere fact that he is a party to the action or has a financial or proprietary interest in its outcome is sufficient to cause his automatic disqualification. The second application of the principle is where a judge is not a party to the suit and does not have a financial interest in its outcome, but in some other way his conduct or behaviour may give rise to a suspicion that he is not impartial”.
“I would only add that in any case where the impartiality of a judge is in question the appearance of the matter is just as important as the reality.”
“sparingly…in order to provide reasonable protection for the House, its Members or its officers from improper obstruction or attempt at or threat of obstruction causing, or likely to cause, substantial interference with the performance of their respective functions.”
“complicit in the campaign of abuse and attempted intimidation of the Committee.”
“justice is to be found in the interstices of procedure.”
“there has been a lack of clarity as to what regulations applied to specific situations at what times…The combination of regulations and guidance, and the lack of clarity as to where one starts and the other stops, have been recurring themes of the coronavirus regulations.”
“The House proceeds on the basis that what it is told by Ministers is accurate and truthful…Our democracy depends on MPs’ being able to trust that what Ministers tell them in the House of Commons is the truth. If Ministers cannot be trusted to tell the truth, the House cannot do its job and the confidence of the public in our democracy is undermined.”
“when he said that Guidance was followed completely in No. 10, that the Rules and Guidance were followed at all times, that events in No. 10 were within the Rules and Guidance, and that the Rules and Guidance had been followed at all times when he was present”;
“he failed to tell the House about his own knowledge of the gatherings where rules or guidance had been broken,”
“he said that he relied on repeated assurances that the rules had not been broken.”
“The assurances he received were not accurately represented by him to the House”.
“gave the impression that there needed to be an investigation by Sue Gray before he could answer questions when he had personal knowledge that he did not reveal,”
“when he purported to correct the record but instead continued to mislead the House and, by his continuing denials,”
“deliberately disingenuous when he tried to reinterpret his statements to the House to avoid their plain meaning and reframe the clear impression that he intended to give, namely when he advanced unsustainable interpretations of the Rules and Guidance to advance the argument that the lack of social distancing at gatherings was permissible within the exceptions…and when he advanced legally impermissible reasons to justify the gatherings.”
“Our democracy depends on MPs being able to trust that what Ministers tell them in the House of Commons is the truth.”
“now, almost a month after furlough ended, there are more people in work than there were before the pandemic began.”-[Official Report, 24 November 2021; Vol. 704, c. 344.]
“Dear Prime Minister…it is wrong to claim that there are now more people in work than before the pandemic began: the increase in the number of people who are on payrolls is more than offset by the reduction in the number of people who are self-employed.”
“We have more people in paid employment than at any time in the history of this country.”-[Official Report, 20 July 2022; Vol. 718, c. 951.]
“the most vicious threat this country has faced in my lifetime”-
“Please mention our story and Bibaa and Nicole. Had they broken the rules they would still be alive.”
“This is a man who is not fit for office. It has been said, ‘The ultimate measure of a person is not where they stand in moments of comfort, but where they stand at times of challenge and controversy.’ This is a time of challenge, so does the Prime Minister realise that…he has a record of dishonesty?...Does the Prime Minister honestly believe that this man is fit for the office of Prime Minister?”-[Official Report, 19 June 2019; Vol. 662, c. 233-34.]
“Ours shall be the voice of the lost
Names resurrected, candles lit, heads bowed
We the ones who contemplate the cost
We the ones who speak their names aloud.
They exist between one heartbeat and another,
The heart that inexplicably still beats.
We speak their names while the world recovers.
To us, recovery is bittersweet.”
“If Ministers cannot be trusted to tell the truth, the House cannot do its job”.
“a crucial part of the spinal cord of the constitution”.
“This is a dreadful day for MPs and for democracy.”
“Rules are for the guidance of wise men and the obedience of fools.”
“In view of the fact that Mr Johnson is no longer a Member, we recommend that he should not be granted a former Member’s pass”?
“from all my experience of chairing COBRs…the system works…but the system works better when the Prime Minister is in the chair”.
“that if something looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and it is at a Christmas party, it is usually a duck.”-[Official Report, 9 December 2021; Vol. 705, c. 563.]
Votes by party, red entries are votes against the majority for that party.
What is Tell? '+1 tell' means that in addition one member of that party was a teller for that division lobby.
What are Boths? An MP can vote both aye and no in the same division. The boths page explains this.
What is Turnout? This is measured against the total membership of the party at the time of the vote.
|Party||Majority (Aye)||Minority (No)||Both||Turnout|
|Lab||175 (+2 tell)||0 (+2 tell)||0||89.1%|
|Bill Cash||Stone||Con (front bench)||no|
|Nicholas Fletcher||Don Valley||Con (front bench)||no|
|Adam Holloway||Gravesham||Con (front bench)||no|
|Karl McCartney||Lincoln||Con (front bench)||no|
|Joy Morrissey||Beaconsfield||Con (front bench)||no|
|Desmond Swayne||New Forest West||Con (front bench)||no|
|Heather Wheeler||South Derbyshire||Con (front bench)||no|
|Alan Campbell||Tynemouth||Lab (minister)||tellno|
|Lilian Greenwood||Nottingham South||Lab (minister)||tellno|