Sir Keir Starmer has urged Tory backbenchers to turn on Boris Johnson tomorrow and vote for a House of Commons inquiry into the Downing Street partygate scandal.
Starmer said that Tory MPs should “do the right thing” and “respect the sacrifices that their constituents made during the pandemic”.
The vote, tabled by the opposition parties, will decide whether Johnson will be referred to Westminster’s Committee of Privileges to investigate whether he misled parliament over partygate.
Johnson was fined £50 last week by the Metropolitan Police for attending his office birthday party in June 2020 during strict Covid rules, despite telling parliament in recent months that no rules were broken in Downing Street.
The Prime Minister contests that he did not deliberately mislead parliament, because he genuinely thought he hadn’t broken the rules by attending the Number 10 event for 10 minutes on a work day.
Starmer said: “The British public know that the rules were broken in Downing Street. Voting to say otherwise won’t persuade the public that everything was fine but will further damage the reputation of any Conservative MP who is happy to say it was one rule for the public and another for this government.”
If the vote is passed in parliament, the Committee of Privileges will be able to demand documents and photographs obtained by senior civil servant Sue Gray during her own inquiry of partygate.
She has not been able to release the vast majority of her findings yet due to the ongoing Met probe into the saga.
The Prime Minister will not be in parliament tomorrow for the vote due to his trip to India, but his whips have ordered every MP into the Commons to vote against Starmer’s motion.