UK lawmakers overwhelmingly back Partygate report

UK lawmakers overwhelmingly back Partygate report

Members of parliament debated report on Boris Johnson for more than 5 hours

By Mehmet Solmaz

BIRMINGHAM, England (AA) - Members of Britain’s parliament voted overwhelmingly on Monday to approve a report which said that former Prime Minister Boris Johnson lied to lawmakers about parties in Downing Street during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A total of 354 parliamentarians in the House of Commons voted to endorse the report, while seven voted against it.

The vote means that Johnson, who formally stepped down as an MP on June 9, will have his right to access parliament as a former lawmaker revoked.

Johnson would have faced a 90-day suspension if he were still an MP, but he quit after being sent the report's findings in advance.

Partygate was the name given to the scandal that saw dozens of parties held during the pandemic at the Prime Minister's Office and government departments that were exposed in the media.

Johnson, MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip, was ousted from the premiership by his party MPs last July following a series of allegations but had held onto his seat in the House of Commons until last week.

The voting session began after five hours of debate in which the former prime minister had been heavily criticized for misleading parliament.

Scottish National Party (SNP) MP Ian Blackford said the report is "confirmation (that) Boris Johnson is a liar.”

"This is a well-trodden path of a man who believes he is above the rules that the rest of us must follow," Blackford added.

Conservative Party MP Nick Fletcher, who openly said he would vote against the report, said the country "needs to move on."

"I know people feel wronged and want justice. I know people lost loved ones -- I did too -- but the storing up of hate won't bring those loved ones back,” Fletcher said.

He added that Johnson has "paid a price" for what he did wrong.

Another Conservative Party MP, John Baron, said he believes Johnson "misled parliament, as this report has duly concluded,"

"It is time to put this to bed, and agreeing this report is the best way of doing this,” he said.

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