Wigan's Makerfield MP to sit in judgement of Prime Minister's behaviour

Wigan borough MP Yvonne Fovargue is one of seven politicians who will determine whether the Prime Minister committed a "contempt" of Parliament by knowingly misleading MPs.

The member for Makerfield sits on the Commons privileges committee to which Boris Johnson was referred on Thursday April 21 amid allegations that he deliberately failed to tell the truth about “partygate” allegations at Number 10.

This is the third probe to be launched into claims of lockdown law-breaking in Downing Street following a yet-to-be published review by senior civil servant Sue Gray and the police’s Operation Hillman inquiry which is continuing.

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The committee comprises seven MPs - two from Labour (Ms Fovargue and Chris Bryant), one SNP (Allan Dorans) and four Conservatives (Andy Carter, Alberto Costa, Laura Farris and Sir Bernard Jenkin).

Chair Mr Bryant though has stepped back from the inquiry as he had already spoken publicly on the matter.

It is understood that Labour is considering options within the party to replace him during the investigation.

If the committee finds the Prime Minister did mislead Parliament, it can recommends sanction which could include suspension from Parliament or ordering him to apologise.

Makerfield MP Yvonne Fovargue.Makerfield MP Yvonne Fovargue.
Makerfield MP Yvonne Fovargue.
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The Commons as a whole, however, would then have to sign off on any punishment.

The Prime Minister has not yet been issued with a fine over a No 10 lockdown drinks party, amid reports that police have started dishing out fixed-penalty notices in relation to the event.

According to reports, fine notices have started landing in the email inboxes of officials who attended a “bring your own bottle” drinks do in the Downing Street garden on May 20 2020 during England’s first Covid lockdown.

The Metropolitan Police said they would not be giving an update on fixed-penalty notices (FPNs) before the local elections next month but a Downing Street source said Mr Johnson had not received a fine in relation to the gathering.

Mr Johnson has previously apologised for attending the party for around 25 minutes, but has insisted he believed it to be a work event to thank staff for their efforts during the pandemic and therefore not a breach of social distancing rules.