THE findings of the parliamentary inquiry into Boris Johnson's conduct which were published today were even more excoriating than many had anticipated.

Among the long awaited report's conclusions it found Johnson committed “repeated contempts of parliament” by misleading the Commons on multiple occasions over lockdown breaches at Number 10 at the height of the Covid pandemic.

It also concluded Johnson committed further contempts of parliament, in that he “breached the confidence” of the committee by discussing its draft findings prior to their publication, “impugned the committee and... undermined the democratic process of the House”.

Perhaps, most damningly of all, it found Johnson was “complicit in the campaign of abuse and intimidation of the committee” tasked with investigating him.

In short, MPs on the privileges committee found the former PM to be a liar and a bully and said he if was still an MP – he resigned on Friday after receiving the document – he should have been suspended from parliament for 90 days.

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For good measure they recommended he be denied the Commons pass routinely given to former MPs allowing them access to the parliamentary estate.

While the report was unexpected in its directness and determination not to pull its punches, what was less surprising was Mr Johnson's reaction.

He had already condemned it as a “kangaroo court” when he resigned as an MP on Friday night and this morning he stepped up his attack on the committee members – particularly its chair, the Labour MP and mother of the House Harriet Harman, and its most senior Tory member Sir Bernard Jenkin – and described the report's findings as “deranged”.

“The committee now says that I deliberately misled the House, and at the moment I spoke I was consciously concealing from the House my knowledge of illicit events,” he said in response.

“This is rubbish. It is a lie. In order to reach this deranged conclusion, the committee is obliged to say a series of things that are patently absurd, or contradicted by the facts.”

Labour's deputy leader Angela Rayner retorted that Johnson was behaving like a “pound shop Trump”.

One of the questions now is whether Johnson can make a comeback – as is his plan – or whether today's report will be the final nail in the coffin for his political career.

The former PM certainly still has supporters in the Commons with several Tory MPs including former Cabinet ministers Jacob Rees-Mogg and Sir Simon Clarke – both awarded honours by Johnson – condemning the report and announcing they will vote against a motion on its findings when they are debated on in the Commons on Monday.

Yet it is difficult to see a process in which Johnson can revive his life in frontline politics and return to parliament.

It is widely believed that the reason he quit the Commons on Friday was that he knew the game was up and that he would not survive the humiliation of a recall petition in his constituency and would inevitably lose a subsequent by-election.

“Don't mention that name in front of me, that filthy piece of toe rag in front of me,” one voter in his former Uxbridge and South Ruislip seat told a Sky News vox pop by Sophy Ridge last weekend.

And a snap poll published this afternoon by Savanta suggested that many voters across the political spectrum view Johnson in much the same way.

Two thirds – 66 per cent – agreed with the privileges committee's conclusion that he deliberately misled the House of Commons, with just one in five – 19 per cent – believing he did not. The survey found that 62 per cent of voters across the UK would not welcome a Johnson comeback with those opposed including almost half – 48 per cent – of voters who backed his party in the 2019 general election.

The raw conclusion for Johnson is that even if he was selected as a candidate by the Conservatives or indeed a new political party, as some have suggested, the electorate would be in no rush to back his return to the Commons.

What might annoy Johnson most of all – and explain the extremity of the language he used to rail against the report – is the role it may play when historians in the future come to judge him.

With a reputation already poor when he was forced to resign in disgrace from Number Ten last year after his ministers and MPs withdrew their support after a series of scandals, some are already suggesting...

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