Lies, Falsehoods and Misrepresentations from Boris Johnson to Rishi Sunak

‎”Their purpose from the beginning has been to find me guilty, regardless of the facts. This is the very definition of a kangaroo court.”

Boris Johnson, MP, Resignation Statement

Facts

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.”

Boris Johnson was therefore making a serious allegation against the members of the House of Commons Privileges Committee. Its members met to decide whether or not Johnson had misled the House of Commons, having been instructed to do so by the House of Commons after a vote of the full house on 21 April 2022. 

Mr Johnson  announced his resignation as an MP on 9 June 2023 after receiving a draft of the Privileges Committee of the House of Commons final report the day before. The committee  unanimously agreed that Mr Johnson “misled the House” on multiple occasions, committing “a serious contempt of the House.”

They were expected to punish Johnson with a long suspension from Parliament which would have opened the door for a “recall petition” which could have forced a by-election in Johnson’s Uxbridge and Ruslip constituency.

Johnson responded by denouncing the Privileges Committee as a “kangaroo court”. By doing so, 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 integrity. 

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

As so many remarks made by Mr Johsnons, his claim that the Privileges Committee was a “kangaroo court” was false.

Verdict

Mr Johnson’s assertion that the Privileges Committee is a “kangaroo court” was wrong on a number of counts. It was also dangerous. Mr Johnson, a former Prime Minister,  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. He provided no serious evidence to support his attack.

We should note that Mr Johnson’s resignation statement, the final act of a disgraced former Prime Minister, 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. 

Scroll to Top