Tomorrow (Monday 19 June 2023) the UK House of Commons will vote on a report from the Committee of Privileges which documents in fine detail how Boris Johnson, Prime Minister during the Covid pandemic, lied repeatedly to the House about his compliance with the Covid Rules and Guidance which were in force at the time.
Deliberately lying to the House of Commons is a hanging offence. It has to be. Our system could not survive if Ministers were allowed to lie knowingly to the House and get away with it.
The Committee sent a copy of their draft report to Johnson in confidence, asking for his comments before deciding on their final recommendations. He broke the embargo and issued a statement branding the committee - with its Conservative majority - a kangaroo court. He then resigned as an MP.
The Committee's proposed 90 day suspension from the Commons – enough to trigger a recall election in his riding – is now otiose but the Committee notes that:
“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.”
So if he wants to drop into Westminster in future he’ll have to queue up with the rest of the public. The Committee wants a lifetime ban.
And although he impishly hinted that he might return as an MP, there is no way he is coming back. He has gone for good.
The Johnson I knew was a shameless habitual liar.
Everyone who ever worked with him said so.
But that never seemed to bother the convicted fraudster and Canadian retread, Conrad Black.
Four years ago, when Johnson won the Conservative leadership by 92,153 votes to his rival’s 46,656, Black told his readers:
“I think Boris will just be fine.”
That tells you everything you need to know about the judgment of Citizen Black.
A year ago I predicted Johnson would be gone in six months.
I wasn’t so far off the mark.