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Boris Johnson will give 'robust defence' of Partygate role says minister ahead of ex-PM's grilling

Boris Johnson will give a ‘robust defence’ of his actions during the Partygate scandal, a top minister said today ahead of the ex-PM’s marathon grilling by MPs this week. 

The former Prime Minister has compiled a comprehensive legal case ahead of his four-hour appearance before the Privileges Committee on Wednesday, allies claim.

His defence is also expected to call into question the fairness of the Commons Privileges Committee, which could decide his political fate when it questions him.

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Oliver Dowden told Sky News on Sunday: ‘I’m sure Boris Johnson will give a robust defence of himself and then it will be for the committee to determine the outcome of it.’

Asked whether there will be a free vote for Conservative MPs if the committee recommends sanctions, Mr Dowden said it is ‘the standard practice’ on House matters.

‘I’m not sure final decisions have been made but that would be the precedent that we would expect to follow,’ he said.

Photos of Mr Johnson and Cabinet Secretary Simon Case surrounded by Downing Street staff – the other faces blurred for anonymity – form the core of his defence that he did not intentionally mislead the House over Covid-era parties at No 10.

Sources claim that none of the more than two dozen No 10 staff who have given evidence to the committee – many of them featured in the photographs – have told the MPs that they believed they were breaking the rules.

Source of data and images: dailymail

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