Attempts by Boris Johnson's allies to stymie Parliament's Partygate probe risk undermining democracy, MPs have been told. 

The claim from the SNP’s Diedre Brock came as the Commons debated a report detailing the attempts of the former prime minister’s supporters to discredit the parliamentary committee probing whether or not he misled parliament with his denials that any rule breaking had taken place.

Supporters, including Jacob Rees-Mogg and Nadine Dorries, were accused of launching an “unprecedented and co-ordinated” attack on the Privileges Committee during its 14-month inquiry.

The Herald: Dame Priti Patel, Nadine Dorries, Lord Goldsmith, Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg, Mark Jenkinson, Brendan

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In a report published last week, the committee said the friends of the ousted Tory leader had all tried to “undermine procedures of the House of Commons.”

“Attacks by experienced members are all the more concerning as they would have known that during the course of an investigation it was not possible for the privileges committee to respond to the attacks,” the report said.

The four Tory members of the committee were particularly targeted, the committee said: “This had the clear intention to drive those members off the committee and so to frustrate the intention of the house that the inquiry should be carried out, or to prevent the inquiry coming to a conclusion which the critics did not want.

“It had significant personal impact on individual members and raised significant security concerns.”

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Opening the debate on the report, Penny Mordaunt, the Tory leader of the House of Commons, said she hoped colleagues would “reflect on their actions.” 

“One of the most painful aspects of this whole affair is that it has involved animosities between colleagues and colleagues of the same political hue.

“But I know of at least one member named in the report who has taken the time to speak with regret to some other members of that committee and I applaud them for doing so.

“I hope that some speeches we might hear this afternoon will acknowledge that obligation we have to one another as colleagues. If Castlereagh and Canning could adopt polite civility after fighting a duel, I live in hope that today will be the end of this sorry affair.”

Ms Mordaunt’s final remark is a reference to former foreign secretary George Canning who, in 1809, was challenged to a duel by war minister Lord Castlereagh over the deployment of troops.

Responding on behalf of the SNP, Ms Brock said the “whole saga has further undermined the public's faith and trust in not just this place, but in democracy itself.” 

She added: “It can only fuel an existing sense of cynicism and frustration that we see across society in the UK today. 

“Boris Johnson was shown to have lied to the House and to the Privileges Committee. Yet some of his most ardent supporters sought to interfere, undermine and attack the integrity of the committee and its work. 

“It seems appropriate now to consider whether campaigns such as this should result in disciplinary action.”

The Herald: SNP MP Deirdre Brock had an exchage in the Commons with Penny Mordaunt on the SNP's position on an independent Scotland and the euro. Picture: UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor

Ms Brock criticised the Prime Minister and the Tory frontbench for avoiding the debate: “As one of my constituents put it to me in a surgery just days ago, if those at the very top won't bother observing, or even showing their support for the rules, why should we?“

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Liberal Democrat chief whip Wendy Chamberlain, who tabled an amendment calling for the MPs to be punished, said: “Nadine Dorries, Jacob-Rees Mogg and these other Conservative MPs launched a Trumpian attack against our Parliament and its independent report into Boris Johnson’s partygate lies.

“Rishi Sunak must confirm he will back referring these Conservative MPs for potential sanctions. There must be consequences for their shameful actions.

“Every time there is a vote on Boris Johnson’s lies and Conservative sleaze, Sunak is too weak to take a stand.

“This time must be different if he wants to show he has any shred of integrity left.”