As I type this, the debate is ongoing over Boris Johnson, deciding whether or not to accept the Partygate report's findings.

The report suggests a 90-day suspension, possibly triggering a by-election, both of which are no longer really a "punishment" or relevant as he has resigned, so would be purely symbolic.

Given that the report has now passed the House, what does the punishment look like for Johnson for having been found to have lied to the House?


1 Answer 1


Now that the recommendations of the report of the privileges committee have been adopted without amendment, Boris Johnson will receive the only sanction left available to the Commons now that he has resigned as an MP; the removal of his entitlement to a former member's pass. Former members may apply for this pass, which allows them limited access to the parliamentary estate without the need to be escorted, and the ability to use certain facilities within.

As Johnson has resigned as an MP, the other sanctions which would have been available to the committee - a time-based suspension from the house, or indeed an outright expulsion - were no longer relevant and did not form part of the report's sanction recommendations. The report puts on the record, though, that had Johnson not resigned, a suspension of 90 days from the House would have been recommended, which would have triggered a recall petition under the Recall of MPs Act 2015. This would have triggered a by-election if signed by more than 10% of the electorate in his constituency. Putting this sanction on the record provides at the very least, some sort of precedent for the seriousness and appropriate punishment for future investigations of this type to consider.

Your question talks about a possible by-election; Johnson's resignation makes this not just a possibility, but a certainty:- the writ of election has already been issued in his former constituency of Uxbridge and South Ruislip, and will take place in late July. There is nothing stopping Johnson from running in this election (although he would probably have to do so as an independent candidate, rather than as a Conservative party candidate).

  • 1
    Thank you for your answer, this perfectly clears up a lot of the misunderstandings I had about the report and the imposition of it providing it passes! Commented Jun 19, 2023 at 16:10
  • 9
    I would add that the resignation should probably be viewed as part of the punishment. It wasn’t imposed, but a resignation to avoid the possibility of a recall petition is kind of like a minister who resigns instead of being fired.
    – cpast
    Commented Jun 19, 2023 at 17:56
  • 3
    @JonathanReez: No. His reputation remains terrible, and Conservative MPs won't trust him. Commented Jun 20, 2023 at 7:50
  • 8
    @JonathanReez agree with John Dallman that his reputation seems pretty unsalvagable, but cleanse in the sense that he can't be suspended from the House for the transgressions detailed in the report - yes.
    – CDJB
    Commented Jun 20, 2023 at 8:02
  • 3
    According to Chris Bryant - who I'd expect to know - if Boris ever returned to the house, he would immediately have the 90 day suspension applied to him. Commented Jun 20, 2023 at 17:18

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .