TORY MPs will have a free vote on the motion to send the Prime Minister to the privileges committee to investigate whether he misled Parliament.

Leader of the House of Commons Mark Spencer said MPs would not be instructed on how to vote on two motions on the topic this afternoon.

Tory whips were previously thought to be directing MPs.

A debate on the Prime Minister’s lawbreaking started on Thursday morning and is expected to last until around 5pm.

MPs will decide whether he should be investigated by a committee of MPs.

The Government has withdrawn a counter motion which would have deferred a vote on whether to send Boris Johnson to the committee until after the Sue Gray report is published. 

SNP shadow Commons leader Pete Wishart described the move as a "supreme effort of kicking the can down the road". 

He said Tory MPs "had better be absolutely certain what is in that can because I suspect, when they eventually have to open it, it will be packed full of the most rancid, noxious contents that they will then have to feast upon". 

Spencer said: “The Prime Minister has indicated he’s keen for the House to decide on the business later today.

“The vote on the unamended House business will be a free vote to all Conservative MPs and that’ll be the case this afternoon.”

Johnson is in Gujarat, India today and so will not be present in the Commons for the vote. 

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He said the Commons should wait for the conclusion of the police investigation and the publication of Sue Gray’s report into parties before deciding whether the Privileges Committee should launch an inquiry. 

A senior Government source told the PA news agency Boris Johnson was “happy to face” a parliamentary inquiry into whether he lied to parliament over breaking Covid rules.

The source said: “The Prime Minister has always been clear that he’s happy to face whatever inquiries Parliament sees fit and is happy for the House to decide how it wishes to proceed today and therefore will not be whipping Conservative MPs.

“They are free to vote according to how they believe we should move forward on this.

“We tabled an amendment last night because we wanted to be explicit about ensuring Sue Gray is able to complete and publish her report without any further delay, as well as allow the Metropolitan Police to conclude their investigations.

“We now recognise that – in practice – this is almost certainly likely to be the case and therefore we are happy for the Labour motion to go through, if that is the will of the House.”