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Boris Johnson verdict: What happens next after Partygate probe? | Politics | News

Boris Johnson erupts at ‘complete nonsense’ in Partygate grilling

After a four-hour grilling by MPs yesterday, Boris Johnson‘s fate is now in the hands of the Privileges Committee after facing a barrage of questions on what he knew about parties held in Downing Street during lockdown, and why he denied their existence.

While Mr Johnson has accepted he misled the Commons with his Partygate denials, he said he did not do so “recklessly” or deliberately.

He claimed he made his denials to Parliament “in good faith” on the advice of his officials, which he now concedes turned out to be wrong. But he told the committee hearing: “I’m here to say to you, hand on heart, I did not lie to the House.”

Here, the Daily Express will answer key questions about what happens next for the former PM.

When will the Privileges Committee publish their verdict?

With parliamentary recess beginning next Thursday, it is unlikely that the Committee will publish their verdict in the coming days.

Its findings are expected next month at the earliest, and with a parliamentary recess until April 17 it could drag on into late spring or early summer.

The Guardian reports Mr Johnson will be given two weeks’ notice of the committee’s final report’s findings, giving him the opportunity to respond pre-publication.

POLL: Should Boris Johnson be suspended over Partygate saga?

Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson was grilled for four hours by the Privileges Committee (Image: PA)

Harriet Harman Privileges Commitee

Harriet Harman grilled Boris, but has been accused of bias (Image: PA)

Who is deciding Boris Johnson’s fate?

While Labour MP – and staunch Johnson critic – Harriet Harman chairs the Privileges Committee, there are six other MPs who sit alongside her on the committee in charge of Mr Johnson’s fate. The makeup of the committee reflects the balance of parties in the House of Commons as a whole, with Conservative MPs holding a majority. There are four Tory MPs on the committee, two Labour MPs and one SNP MP.

Despite Tory MPs being in the majority, pro-Boris allies have pointed to statements and actions from them over the past four years that indicate none of them are supporters of the former Prime Minister.

Harriet Harman has also been accused of pre-judging the outcome, having tweeted that by accepting a Fixed Penalty Notice for his birthday bash, Mr Johnson admitted he “misled the House of Commons”.

READ MORE: Poll shows Tory members find Boris’ partygate probe ‘unfair’

Boris Johnson arrives at Parliament

Boris Johnson arriving in Parliament yesterday (Image: PA)