Government abandons attempt to delay Boris Johnson Partygate investigation in screeching U-turn
Labour say the U-turn is "humiliating"
The government has performed a screeching U-turn and will no longer seek to delay an investigation into Partygate, should MPs decide to launch one in a vote later today.
Tory MPs will now be given a free vote today on whether Boris Johnson should be investigated by the Privileges Committee over claims he misled Parliament.
Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, Angela Rayner, described the u-turn as "humiliating". "The government knew they couldn’t win this," she said. "The Prime Minister is bang to rights."
MPs are currently debating a motion tabled by the Labour party that says the Prime Minister should be investigated by MPs on the privileges committee over Partygate.
The motion stipulates that the inquiry should only begin once the Met Police has finished its own investigation into the parties.
A Labour spokesperson said this stipulation would mean it cannot be argued by the PM's supporters that an inquiry would somehow hinder the police investigation.
Speaking ahead of Thursday's Commons vote on the first day of his trade mission to India, the Prime Minister denied misleading parliament over the Partygate scandal.
Asked whether he knowingly or unknowingly misled parliament, Johnson told reporters: “Of course not.”
The government had been attempting to delay today's vote by tabling an amendment to Labour’s motion – which would hold up a vote on an inquiry until the Metropolitan police investigation into parties is complete. It's understood Tory MPs have been whipped to vote for it.
Labour have said that any Tory MP supporting the government delay would be “voting for a cover up” and described the amendment as a “smokescreen”.
- PM makes another false claim in parliament - no one even bothers to ask him to correct it
- Theresa May tells Priti Patel she cannot support Rwanda deportation scheme
- Rwanda plan a 'desperate attempt to distract from the PM's lawbreaking', says Labour