BORIS Johnson committed multiple contempts of parliament by misleading it about Partygate and trying to “intimidate” the MPs who investigated his misconduct.

In an unprecedented report on a former Prime Minister, the Commons Privileges Committee said he should have been suspended for 90 days if he was still an MP.

It also said he should be denied the Commons pass routinely given to former MPs.

His recent criticism of the Committee and its members  also amounted to "an attack on our democratic institutions" which was "completely unacceptable", it said.

The Liberal Democrats said Mr Johnson should be stripped of the £115,000 annual allowance available to former prime ministers to run their office.

The Committee was set up to look into whether Mr Johnson misled Parliament when he denied lockdown rules had been broken in Downing Street through social events being held while he was PM, and by insisting all rules were followed.

It found he had - repeatedly and deliberately - and that his own response to the investigation had made things worse.

He had "closed his mind to the truth", it said.

Mr Johnson and Rishi Sunak, his then Chancellor, later received police fines for their part in the rule breaking.

“We conclude that when he told the House and this Committee that the rules and guidance were being complied with, his own knowledge was such that he deliberately misled the House and this committee," the MPs said.

“We came to the view that some of Mr Johnson’s denials and explanations were so disingenuous that they were by their very nature deliberate attempts to mislead the committee and the House, while others demonstrated deliberation because of the frequency with which he closed his mind to the truth.”

It said this was a serious contempt of the House, and was compounded by Mr Johnson leaking some of the findings against him and attacking the Committee in his resignation statement, when he railed against a "kangaroo court" and a "witch hunt".

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The report said: “Mr Johnson’s conduct in making this statement is in itself a very serious contempt.” 

It added: “We note that Mr Johnson does not merely criticise the fairness of the committee’s procedures; he also attacks in very strong, indeed vitriolic, terms the integrity, honesty and honour of its members.

“He stated that the committee had ‘forced him out (…) anti-democratically’.

“This attack on a committee carrying out its remit from the democratically elected House itself amounts to an attack on our democratic institutions.

“We consider that these statements are completely unacceptable. In our view this conduct, together with the egregious breach of confidentiality, is a serious further contempt.”

The Herald:

He had been "complicit in the campaign of abuse and attempted intimidation” of the Committee, it said. 

In response, Mr Johnson said the Privileges Committee was “beneath contempt” as it had reached a “deranged conclusion” to deliver “what is intended to be the final knife-thrust in a protracted political assassination”.

Mr Johnson resigned last week as the MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip after being given advance notice of the findings, triggering a byelection in the Labour target seat. 

There had been speculation about him returning to the Commons, but the severity of today's report makes that all but impossible.

A suspension of 10 days is enough to trigger a re-call byelection. The recommended sanction of 90 days shows how seriously the committee took his misconduct.

The MPs said that “if Mr Johnson were still a Member he should be suspended from the service of the House for 90 days for repeated contempts and for seeking to undermine the parliamentary process”.

The committee said these included: Deliberately misleading the House, deliberately misleading the committee, breaching confidence, “impugning the committee and thereby undermining the democratic process of the House” and “being complicit in the campaign of abuse and attempted intimidation of the committee”.

It added: “We recommend that he should not be entitled to a former Member’s pass."

The lockdown parties at Downing Street during the pandemic contributed to a sharp loss of public trust in Mr Johnson, a series of Tory byelection losses and eventually a mutiony by Tory MPs and ministers last July which forced him out of Number 10 after three years as PM.

The Privileges report said: “His personal knowledge of breaches of the rules and guidance, combined with his repeated failures pro-actively to investigate and seek authoritative assurances as to compliance issues, amount to a deliberate closing of his mind or at least reckless behaviour.

“We find it highly unlikely that Mr Johnson, having given any reflection to these matters, could himself have believed the assertions he made to the House at the time when he was making them, still less that he could continue to believe them to this day.

“Someone who is repeatedly reckless and continues to deny that which is patent is a person whose conduct is sufficient to demonstrate intent.

“Many aspects of Mr Johnson’s defence are not credible: taken together, they form sufficient basis for a conclusion that he intended to mislead.”

It further concluded Mr Johnson has been “disingenuous” with the committee in ways which amount to misleading, including by adopting a “narrow and restricted interpretation of the assertions he gave to the House in PMQs on 1 and 8 December 2021”.

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The Committee also considered if it should have called for Mr Johnson to be expelled from the Commons if he had remained as an MP.

During discussion of the report’s final findings, the SNP’s Allan Dorans and Labour’s Yvonne Fovargue backed the idea, but the four Tory members of the committee – Sir Bernard Jenkin, Sir Charles Walker, Andy Carter and Alberto Costa – opposed it.

Tory MP Tobias Ellwood said the support Mr Johnson once enjoyed from the party base was “changing before our very eyes” into anger, and a comeback was very doubtful.

He told Sky News: “Johnson’s confidence stemmed from the huge support he received from the party base. He was loved by members across the country but this is changing before our very eyes. There’s now disappointment, even anger that the party, the activists are left to pick up the pieces”.

Earlier, on a visit to Harrow, Rishi Sunak dodged questions about Mr Johnson by saying he hadn't read the report.

Asked if he believed if Mr Johnson should be allowed to be an MP again, the Prime Minister said: “You are talking about a report that I haven’t seen and that no one else has seen.

"It wouldn’t be right to comment on it in advance of it coming out and being published.”

He added: “These are matters for the House of Commons, and Parliament will deal with it in the way that it does.”

Asked if he was “frustrated” by Mr Johnson’s interventions in the past week, Mr Sunak said: “No, I’m just getting on with delivering for the country."

Deputy LibDem leader Daisy Cooper said: “This damning report should be the final nail in the coffin for Boris Johnson’s political career.

“It is completely unprecedented for a former prime minister to be found to have been a law-breaker and serial liar, who treated the public and Parliament with total disdain.

“Rishi Sunak must cut off Johnson’s ex-prime minister allowance to stop him milking the public purse for his own personal gain.

“Anything less would be an insult to bereaved families who suffered while Boris Johnson lied and partied.”

This is a breaking story and will be updated.