Tory MPs will have to either 'sack or back' Boris Johnson
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The Met Police announced its decision after revelations of another gathering emerged on January 24, with reports alleging Carrie Johnson organised a birthday party for the Prime Minister during the first lockdown in 2020. Downing Street confirmed a gathering took place for “10 minutes”, but denied claims Mr Johnson hosted family and friends at his flat later that evening. The additional revelations have left questions around the status of senior civil servant Sue Gray’s investigation into events of the last two years.
Will Sue Gray ever release her report?
Sue Gray’s investigation into the events at Downing Street was due out this week but may now be facing delays.
The Met announcement means her findings won’t come out “this week”, a senior Whitehall source told the Financial Times.
But the report is “continuing”, a Cabinet Office spokesperson added.
Sky News political editor Sam Coates said sources had told him the Met Police “want the whole Sue Gray report published”.
And Daily Mirror political editor Pippa Crerar said she has “cleared publication with the Met” and “plans to hand it over to Boris Johnson later this week”.
Will the PM address claims in Parliament?
Prime Minister’s Questions should begin at 12pm on Wednesday, January 26, just two days following the new alleged party news.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer would likely focus on the explosive revelations following his performance last week.
But the Prime Minister’s spokesman said today that he would not answer questions on the party in Parliament.
Did Boris Johnson mislead Parliament?
The main question coming from the recent chaos is whether Mr Johnson misled Parliament.
He apologised to the House of Commons for attending a lockdown-breaking gathering on May 20, 2020, for “25 minutes” as he “implicitly believed” it was a work event.
If the investigation finds he did know the event was a party, he would have knowingly misled Parliament.
Rules dictate that ministers who mislead the house must tender their resignation to the Prime Minister.
Parliamentarians would expect Mr Johnson to follow these rules and resign.
Will Tories move before the report?
The Tory 1922 Committee has received letters of no confidence in Mr Johnson from MPs over the last two weeks.
But the dramatic defection of MP Christian Wakeford to Labour last week allegedly provided the PM with a stay of execution as it encouraged a “tribal” sense of unity.
Further revelations around the Downing Street events will likely have harmed Mr Johnson’s standing and may have encouraged more MPs to come forward.
However, it is unclear how many more letters chairman Sir Graham Brady has received.
Could the PM resign?
Mr Johnson could move before the report and ahead of rebellious MPs if he resigns first.
But this seems increasingly unlikely, as he has allegedly pledged to fight for his role.
One MP told the Financial Times he pledged to colleagues that the party would “get through this”.
They added that the PM “believes he’ll get out of this” and his optimism is “more than skin deep”.
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