BORIS Johnson will face a vote on whether he misled parliament over partygate tomorrow after apologising to MPs for the saga.

Yesterday evening, Johnson offered a “wholehearted apology” to the House of Commons after being issued with a fixed-penalty notice for attending a birthday gathering in Downing Street in breach of his own Covid laws.

Now, following a cross-party effort from the SNP, Labour and LibDems, Speaker Lindsay Hoyle has given the go-ahead for MPs to debate and vote on whether the Prime Minister misled parliament in previous statements about rule-breaking in Number 10 – during which he argued Covid guidance had been followed at all times. 

Labour are understood to be wording the motion to make the 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 ask to see the full version of Sue Gray’s inquiry into lockdown gatherings, and any photographic evidence that exists.

Tomorrow’s debate and vote will also 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.

Johnson is not expected to be in the UK for the debate, as he is scheduled to make a trip to India tomorrow.

During his short statement to the House yesterday evening, the Prime Minister said sorry for breaking the rules but insisted he did not do so intentionally.

“Let me also say, not by way of mitigation or excuse, but purely because it explains my previous words in this House, that it did not occur to me then or subsequently that a gathering in the Cabinet Room just before a vital meeting on Covid strategy could amount to a breach of the rules,” he told MPs.

“I repeat that was my mistake and I apologise for it unreservedly.”

READ MORE: Boris Johnson to push ahead with India trip despite vote on ‘lying’ about partygate

Shortly after, Johnson invoked the tragedy of the coronavirus and the war in Ukraine in an effort to present himself as too important to be removed from office.

Shouts of “resign” could be heard in the Commons.

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford said the parties the Prime Minister had denied happening were “the very same parties that the police have now fined the Prime Minister for attending”.

He said the public knew the Prime Minister was only apologising for one reason which is “because he has been caught”.

“After months of denials, his excuses have finally run out of road and so must his time in office,” Blackford said.


“The Prime Minister has broken the very laws he wrote. To try and argue that he did not know he had broken his own laws would be laughable if it wasn’t so serious.”

The MP went on: “Not just a law breaker, a serial offender. If he has any decency, any dignity, he would not just apologise, he would resign.”

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer also offered his condemnation of Johnson, telling the House that the public “don’t believe a word the Prime Minister says”.

He referenced Cabinet minister Brandon Lewis earlier drawing a comparison between Johnson’s partygate fine and a speeding ticket.

Starmer said: “No-one has ever broken down in tears because they couldn’t drive faster than 20 miles an hour outside a school. Don’t insult the public with this nonsense.”

In Starmer’s attack on Johnson’s apology, Scottish Tory chief Douglas Ross also found himself caught in the crossfire. Ross was singled out by the Labour leader as he called out the Prime Minister for “ruining” the careers of those close to him.

“Good ministers forced to walk away from public service. The Chancellor’s career up in flames, and the leader of the Scottish Conservatives rendered pathetic,” he said, referring to Ross withdrawing his call for Johnson to resign last month and continued defence of the Prime Minister.

Despite anger on the opposition benches following Johnson’s apology, there was little upset from Tory backbenchers. Just one Conservative MP, Mark Harper, called for the Prime Minister’s resignation.

The former Tory chief whip, who has been a prominent critic of Johnson and served in Theresa May’s government, said the Tory leader was “no longer worthy” to lead  the government.

He has sent a letter to Graham Brady, the chairman of the 1922 Committee, which regulates when the Tory party can hold a no-confidence vote in its leader.  

In his letter, he accused Johnson of breaking the ministerial code and of being “no longer able to deliver the principled leadership required to take our country forward”.  At least 17 Tory MPs have called for Johnson to go. At the last count there were around 20 letters sent to the 1922 Committee, but 54 are needed to trigger a no-confidence vote.