PARLIAMENT will debate whether Boris Johnson misled parliament over partygate this week, it has been confirmed after Lindsay Hoyle agreed to a Labour motion on the topic.

However, the Prime Minister won't have to be present at the discussion - as he's due in India when it's taking place.

It comes after the Prime Minister, along with his wife Carrie Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak, were last week issued with fixed-penalty notices (FPN) by police investigating claims of coronavirus lockdown breaches in No 10.

Johnson has apologised for his part in attending his own birthday bash, held in June 2020 in the Cabinet room, and paid the fine despite telling the Commons previously that all Covid guidance was followed at the heart of Government.

The Prime Minister is set to address the Commons on Tuesday as he attempts to convince his critics there are bigger issues to focus on than the Downing Street gatherings.

READ MORE: ‘Rogue’ Prime Minister Prime Minister faces Commons vote on partygate fines

But now Hoyle has given the go-ahead for MPs to debate whether he misled parliament – an offence traditionally seen as a resigning matter for ministers – in previous statements about rule-breaking in No 10, during which he argued Covid guidance had been followed at all times. The Commons debate will take place on Thursday.

Hoyle said he had received letters from a number of MPs requesting he gives precedence to consider statements made by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to the Commons on gatherings held in Downing Street and Whitehall during the lockdown.

He said the procedure is set out in Erskine May, noting: “It is not for me to police the ministerial code, I have no jurisdiction over the ministerial code even though a lot of people seem to think I have. It is not the case.

The National:

“Secondly, it is not for me to determine whether or not the Prime Minister has committed a contempt. My role is to decide whether there is an arguable case to be examined.

“Having considered the issue, having taken advice from the clerks of the House, I’ve decided that this is a matter that I should allow the precedence accorded to the issue of privilege.

“Therefore, [Sir Keir Starmer] may table a motion for debate on Thursday.”

READ MORE: Indyref2: Nicola Sturgeon hosts top level meetings to plan white paper

Hoyle also told MPs: “Scheduling the debate for Thursday will, I hope, give members an opportunity to consider the motion and the response to it.

“The motion will appear on Thursday’s order paper to be taken after any urgent questions or statements. Hopefully there won’t be any.

“I hope this is helpful to the House.”

Thursday's debate and vote would likely see Tory MPs whipped to support the PM– leaving the Scottish Tories, who often trade on a perception of distance from Johnson, with a choice of either visibly endorsing his actions or otherwise.

Labour, SNP and LibDem MPs behind the plans are partly looking for a way to force Tory MPs to declare their loyalty to Johnson or otherwise ahead of the council elections.

Labour is understood to be wording the motion to make Thursday’s vote about whether to refer Johnson to the Committee of Privileges, which examines issues relating to contempt of Parliament. The committee has the power to summon reports and documents.

It means that MPs could request to see the full version of senior civil servant Sue Gray’s inquiry into the Downing Street lockdown gatherings and any potential photographic evidence that exists.