Lies, Falsehoods and Misrepresentations from Boris Johnson to Rishi Sunak

‎”I have the utmost respect for the integrity of the Committee and all its Members and the work that it is doing”

Boris Johnson, Former Prime Minister, Letter to Committee of Privileges

Facts

On 30 March 2023 former Prime Minister Boris Johnson sent a letter to the Privileges Committee in which he stated that he had “the utmost respect for the integrity of the Committee and all its Members and the work that it is doing”. The letter was sent by Johnson following his appearance before the Committee earlier that same month. 

On 9 June 2023, after reading a draft of the Committee’s final report, Boris Johnson issued a statement announcing that he was stepping down as an MP. 

In the statement he wrote that the Committee’s “purpose from the beginning has been to find me guilty, regardless of the facts. This is the very definition of a kangaroo court.”

A kangaroo court is defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as “An unofficial court held by a group of people in order to try someone regarded, especially without good evidence, as guilty of a crime or misdemeanour.”

By denouncing the Privileges Committee as a “kangaroo court”, he was accusing the members of the Privileges Committee of deliberately setting out to find him guilty without solid evidence. Additionally, the term “kangaroo court” carries with it the implication that it has no official credentials. In fact the Privileges Committee is a long-standing House of Commons body which had been instructed by a vote of all MPs in the House of Commons to make a judgement about the former Prime Minister’s personal integrity. 

Johnson provided no evidence to support his inflammatory and very serious claim. It is worth noting, of the seven-strong Committee which met to decide his fate, no less than four of them – the majority – were Conservative MPs. 

Verdict

Mr Johnson was bringing the British system of representative democracy into disrepute by casting aspersions about the integrity of its MPs and disputing the authority of the House of Commons, and in particular the fairness  of its system of enforcing fair play.

 Mr Johnson has not shown any “respect for the integrity” of the Committee. 

We may note that Mr Johnson’s resignation statement, the final act of a disgraced MP, contained one of the most noxious of all his lies.

We sent a letter to Johnson’s personal and office address offering him the chance to respond. The letter was received (and signed for) by both, but no reply. 

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