It’s a Boris Johnson ‘Stitch up!’ Conservatives are furious with Harman over the PM witch hunt investigation.

A partygate investigation that might result in Boris Johnson being kicked out of Parliament has been described as a “stitch up.” 

According to one sitting government minister, the probe jeopardises MPs’ freedom of speech and expression. “The Prime Minister’s resignation is a distraction to what is truly going on,” they stated.

It comes after the House of Commons Privileges Committee, chaired by Labour MP Harriet Harman, ruled that Mr Johnson could be found guilty of misleading the House of Commons even if he made an honest mistake.

The Committee will consider if Mr Johnson acted in “contempt of the House of Commons” when he said last year that he felt no lockdown rules were breached in 10 Downing Street.

The Prime Minister, his wife Carrie Johnson, and former Chancellor Rishi Sunak were subsequently fined by the Metropolitan Police for attending a birthday party in June 2020. 

Previously, the Committee was expected to investigate whether Mr Johnson “deliberately” or “knowingly” misled Parliament. However, it has issued a report stating that “intention is not necessary for a contempt to be committed.”

The Prime Minister’s supporters argue that the Committee’s approach will stifle free speech and discussion in Parliament. Some Conservative MPs are especially sceptical of Ms Harman’s involvement as a former Labour Deputy Leader who has served as temporary leader of the party twice. 

Former Conservative Minister Michael Fabricant commented, “This is a plan for a total stitch up, though I should not be surprised with Harriet Harman being the committee’s chairman.”

“There is a principle in English law called ‘mens rea’, which means ‘guilty mind’. In other words, you have to show that you intended to commit a crime for a crime to be committed.”

“When Parliament returns, I will be encouraging all MPs – particularly those with any knowledge of our legal system – to oppose the Privileges Committee,” he continued. “We need to make one hell of a stink about this.”

Because Mr Johnson is Prime Minister, the Privileges Committee has determined that he might be held in contempt for making a “misstatement.” According to the report, “The Committee may consider that the fact Mr Johnson is Prime Minister is relevant because misstatements by Ministers are inherently likely to obstruct or impede the House.” 

He might lose his seat if the Committee decides that he should be suspended from Parliament for 14 days or longer, or for 10 days if the Commons is in session. 

This would let people who don’t like Mr Johnson start a petition asking for a by-election. Only 10% of local voters would have to sign the petition for the vote to happen.

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