The education secretary has said “most” Conservative MPs will support the government’s amendment.
MPs will today vote on whether to launch an investigation into allegations the prime minister misled the House of Commons over “Partygate”.
Nadhim Zahawi told Sky News that the Opposition’s plan to launch a Parliamentary probe into claims as “shenanigans”.
Today’s government amendment proposes delaying a decision on whether to refer him to the privileges committee until the conclusion of the Met’s criminal investigation and the full publication of Sue Gray’s report.
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“If you want to play politics with this then the shenanigans that Labour are attempting today is the route,” Zahawi claimed.
“If you want to follow due process then you allow the police to complete their investigation, you allow the Sue Gray report to be published and then the privileges committee can look at that.
“That is what I will be voting for today. The amendment is the right chronology and the right way to follow due process.”
He went on: “All I am saying to you is due process is the right thing to follow. I think you will find most of my colleagues who are fair-minded, who believe in due process will vote for the amendment because it is the right thing to do.”
Reports suggest that Conservative MPs may be whipped to vote for yesterday’s amendment.
Zahawi said the prime minister “certainly does,” have his party’s full support to lead them into the next general election, adding: “ If you look at what he has been focused on, making sure that the global fight against inflation and the economic recovery is in place, an energy strategy, safer streets and of course dealing with war in Europe.”
“On all these issues the prime minister has been leading at home and leading internationally and this trip to India we are announcing £1 billion of deals already done, in place, 11,000 jobs, a trade deal with the largest democracy in the world, slated to be the third largest economy by 2050.
“This is what I think your viewers will want their leader to be doing and that is exactly what he is doing,” he went on.
An official spokesperson confirmed last week that Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak were fined over the PM’s 2020 birthday gathering, stating: “on 19th June 2020 at the Cabinet Room 10 Downing Street between 1400 and 1500 you participated in a gathering of two or more people indoors in the Cabinet Room at 10 Downing Street”.
Both parties have since apologized for the violation of the rules.
The Metropolitan Police has issued fines to over 17.700 people for breaking Covid laws, including 113 for hosting a gathering with more than 30 people.