Partygate: privileges committee accuses seven Tory MPs and three peers of trying to interfere with its inquiry
The Guardian says The Commons privileges committee has criticised in particular seven MPs and one peer for posting tweets, or giving comments to the media, that it described as “some of the most disturbing examples of the co-ordinated campaign to interfere with” its inquiry into Boris Johnson.
The quotes are set out in an annex to the report.
The MPs are:
Nadine Dorries, the former culture secretary (who seems to be the worst offender – four of her remarks are quoted)
Jacob Rees-Mogg, the former business secretary and former leader of the Commons (the next worst – two of his remarks are quoted)
Priti Patel, the former home secretary
And the peer is Zac Goldsmith, who is a Foreign Office minister.
The report says:
“By his ruling on 6 March 2023, the Speaker prevented abuse within the house, but what needs to be addressed is the campaign waged outside parliament by some members of the House of Commons and the House of Lords to undermine the committee.
“Those involved used newspapers and radio and there was extensive use of social media. There were many examples but the committee is particularly concerned about attacks mounted by experienced colleagues, including a serving minister of the Crown, a former leader of the house and a former secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport, and at least three members of the House of Lords (one of whom is the serving minister referred to above) who took it upon themselves to undermine procedures of the House of Commons. The former and current members of the Government we have referred to are privy counsellors.
“We have not catalogued every tweet or TV appearance, but have set out in an annex to this report some of the most disturbing examples of the co-ordinated campaign to interfere with the work of the committee.
“The annex includes the statements made by the individuals referred to above and of others who followed their example.
“This matter is made more difficult because two of the Members mounting the most vociferous attacks on the Committee did so from the platform of their own hosted TV shows. Attacks by experienced Members are all the more concerning as they would have known that during the course of an investigation it was not possible for the privileges committee to respond to the attacks.”