Priti Patel hits out at MPs who are set to grill Boris Johnson over Partygate

Peiti Patel has questioned the objectivity of MPs who will be grilling Boris Johnson over Partygate next week – as almost all of them have criticized him before.

The former interior minister warned of a “culture of conspiracy” and claimed the investigation, which has been described as a witch hunt by allies of the former prime minister, would damage democracy.

Her comments came as a Daily Mail audit found that members of the seven-member Privileges Committee collectively made more than 20 negative comments about the former prime minister, in interviews and online.

The Labor chairman, Harriet Harman, has already stated that Mr Johnson’s acceptance of a police fine for breaching Covid laws means he admits to having misled the Commons – the very issue its inquiry should consider on the basis of the evidence.

Even Conservatives on the committee, which will finally hold its televised evidence session with Mr Johnson on Wednesday, accused him of ‘demeaning’ behavior over Partygate.

The former interior minister warned of a “culture of conspiracy” and claimed the investigation, which has been described as a witch hunt by allies of the former prime minister, would damage democracy.

Johnson’s staunch ally Miss Patel said the Partygate investigation “has shown our democracy in a very, very bad light.”

How can a handful of MPs and committee members really be so objective in light of some of the individual comments made?

“I don’t want to name names, but it’s a fact,” she told GB News. “The lack of transparency, the lack of accountability, I honestly think there’s a culture of collusion.”

The committee’s usual chairman, Chris Bryant of Labour, stepped aside from the inquiry when it was launched last April for repeatedly labeling Johnson a liar.

But his replacement, former New Labor minister Miss Harman, was equally scathing.

On the day Johnson and Rishi Sunak were fined by police for attending a short birthday party in the cabinet room, she wrote on Twitter: “PM&CX [Chancellor of the Exchequer] complete disregard for rules vital to protecting the health of others. Unspeakable. disgraceful.’

In a subsequent tweet, she seemed to anticipate the case she is now in charge of, writing: “If PM and CX admit guilt and accept that the police have a right to have broken the rules, then they also admit that they misled the House of Representatives. Commons. Or will they challenge?’

A Daily Mail audit found that members of the seven-member Privileges Committee collectively made more than 20 negative comments about the former prime minister, in interviews and online

A Daily Mail audit found that members of the seven-member Privileges Committee collectively made more than 20 negative comments about the former prime minister, in interviews and online

The other Labor MP on the committee, Yvonne Fovargue, wrote online ahead of the 2019 election: ‘Boris Johnson is telling outrageous lies. There are only ten here.’

The only SNP member of the committee, Allan Dorans, was once an officer in the Metropolitan Police who fined Mr Johnson.

In a newsletter, he wrote that people in his constituency were “understandably furious that while following Covid rules and making personal sacrifices, Boris Johnson was breaking them by holding illegal Downing Street parties.”

One of the four Tories on the committee, Andy Carter, said in July when Johnson announced he would step down: “I believe this is the right thing to do and in the best interest of the nation.”

Alberto Costa, another conservative in the study, made a series of sharp remarks about the Johnson administration as the leadership battle began last summer.

The most senior Tory on the committee, Sir Bernard Jenkin, is said to have once said it would be a ‘disaster’ if Mr Johnson joined the Leave campaign ahead of the Brexit vote, calling him ‘unfair’ .

And the last member of the committee, Sir Charles Walker, declared last February that he would ‘applaud’ if the Prime Minister stepped down.

Commons leader Penny Mordaunt said the committee should be able to continue its work “without fear or favour.”

A spokesperson for the committee said: ‘The members of the Privileges Committee are MPs appointed to this role by the House.

“The decision to conduct this inquiry was not made by the Privileges Committee, but by the House of Commons as a whole.”

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