London, Thanasis Gavos

Former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will appear before the House of Commons Immunity Committee at 2pm – London time – to be “interrogated” for at least four hours about whether he knowingly and “recklessly” misled parliament regarding partygate.

An interim committee report said that despite Mr Johnson’s repeated assurances that the lockdown meetings at Downing Street did not break the rules in place due to the pandemic, it should have been “obvious” to him that meetings he attended were outside the rules and the directives that his government had established.

In a file with his arguments that he has already submitted to the committee since Monday, the former prime minister admits that it has been proven from the facts that he misled the parliament with his assurances, but he emphasizes that this was neither done deliberately nor recklessly, as he relied on every once in assurances of trusted advisors.

However, excerpts of evidence to be considered by the committee, published on Wednesday morning, show that Martin Reynolds, then the prime minister’s chief private secretary, had questioned in front of Mr Johnson “how realistic it was to argue that all the instructions had followed at all times given the working environment in Number 10”.

Both allies of Boris Johnson and himself have questioned the expediency and legitimacy of examining the case by the seven-member Immunity Committee, which is made up of a majority of Conservative MPs, but who are not staunch friends of the former prime minister.

The committee is chaired by 40-year Labor MP Harriet Harman.

If found to have recklessly misled the House, Mr. Johnson could even face a 10-day suspension from the legislature. This would give the voters of his district the opportunity to claim a by-election for the election of a new deputy.

Any sanction, however, would have to be approved by the full House of Commons.