For more than three hours the House of Commons Immunity Committee this afternoon questioned Boris Johnson about whether he was telling the truth to parliament in December 2021 when he claimed he did not know that Downing Street's so-called "corona parties", held amid a pandemic , were "breaking the rules" that his government had imposed.
The former Prime Minister of Britain repeated once again that everything he did he did in good faith. "I am here to say with my hand on my heart that I did not lie to Parliament. The statements were made in good faith and based on what I honestly knew and believed at the time," said Boris Johnson. In fact, as he emphatically pointed out, if he believed that the meetings in Downing Street were illegal, he would not have allowed the official photographer in the Prime Minister's Office to take pictures.
For her part, the Chair of the Committee, Labor MP Harriet Harman, pointed out that misleading parliament prevents the proper functioning of democracy and institutions, as trust is lost between members of parliament and citizens. "Without that trust, the whole of parliamentary democracy is undermined," Ms. Harman pointedly noted.
The Commission's decision is expected in the coming weeks. There are three possible scenarios for the next day:
1. If the Commission decides that Boris Johnson was not in contempt of Parliament, even if some of his statements misled it, as he has already admitted, they will not impose any sanction on him, so the case stops there.
2. If the Commission finds that Boris Johnson was in contempt of Parliament, it will have to consider how serious that contempt was. That is, if he did it unintentionally, recklessly or deliberately. Depending on the final verdict, the Commission has the option of asking the former prime minister to apologize in writing, apologize in person in the House of Commons or even refer his case to the House of Commons with the question of suspension from his parliamentary duties .
3. If in the end the Plenary imposes on him a penalty of suspending his parliamentary duties for 10 or more days, then the so-called "revocation request" of his seat will automatically be triggered. In that case, the registered voters of his constituency will be asked to decide whether they still want to be represented by Boris Johnson. If 10% of those voters sign the "recall petition", Boris Johnson loses his seat and by-elections are called to elect a new MP. It is worth noting that the regulation allows Boris Johnson to be a candidate again to claim his seat.