‘It’s going to be WORSE than Jerry Springer!’ Tory MPs dreading Boris Partygate inquiry

Partygate: Daily Express gets the public's view on PM

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The committee today has named former Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman as its temporary chairwoman and given details of how it will conduct the inquiry into how it will investigate whether Boris Johnson lied to Parliament over Partygate. As soon as it published its plan of action a Conservative MP said: “Oh God! It’s going to be worse than the Jerry Springer show!”

You can see what the MP – a Boris critic – meant.

The committee will be taking oral evidence and pulling its accused and accusers in front of MPs and independent members to say their piece.

Among those coming will of course be the Prime Minister himself as well as his wife Carrie.

They will be grilled on the parties in a public way which has not been seen before.

This is not going to be the equivalent of quietly and privately sending a questionnaire back to the Met police.

Instead, the likelihood, although not confirmed, is that it will be livestreamed and filmed for the world to watch.

We know about some of the allegations and the Prime Minister and his wife have both been fined for having cake in the Cabinet Room on his birthday.

The parties in Downing Street and heavy drinking is well documented but there are other issues which the committee will want to raise.

Not least the alleged private party in the Downing Street apartment which the Met Police supposedly did not investigate.

And then we come to the astonishing issue of the front page of the Times where the first edition from page story was pulled for the second editions and mysteriously never appeared on the website.

This has actually been picked up around the world as Mr Johnson has in the last week conducted his international tour of summits to Rwanda, Germany and Spain.

The New York Times wrote a 1,000 word piece about it.

What has not been repeated anywhere though are the lurid and completely unproven allegations of sex acts.

Time will tell whether MPs on the committee want to tread on that territory but such questions would provide a massive cringe at the very least.

It should be hoped that Ms Harman will be concerned enough with the integrity of the inquiry to not let it turn into a circus of that sort of wild accusationn with no evidence to back it up at all.


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Already the investigation is crowded in controversy because so many MPs of all parties have expressed a public opinion about the Prime Minister’s alleged guilt.

Chris Bryant, the Labour chairman of the committee, had to stand aside because of Tweeting about Mr Johnson’s alleged guilt.

For those in Parliament – politician, official or journalist – it is clear that the scandal and the vote of confidence have brought the whole business of Government to a halt.

We have a massive inflation and cost of living crisis but nothing seems to be happening to resolve them.

There are strikes but no legislation coming forward on anything to tackle the problems the country is facing.

Several Tory MPs have referred to it as “the calm before the storm”.

Others speculate that Mr Johnson will call an early election to avoid the ignominy of the inquiry and that his record on covid and the Ukraine war will help him overturn a six point poll deficit and win.

Others see that as politically suicidal not least because under the current circumstances the Prime Minister might lose his seat.

What is significant though is that Mr Johnson’s most senior ministers are now looking t the inquiry as the make or break point.

One cabinet minister told me that any move against the Prime Minister to oust him would be dependent on the committee’s findings and whether, if found to have lied to Parliament, Mr Johnson resigns gracefully.

The minister said: “It may be politically divided down party lines so what will be crucial is the verdict of the independent members.”

All we are waiting for now as we get ready for the political show in the autumn is for Netflix to put in a bid to stream it.

The events will be gripping but it will only harm the Government further as Mr Johnson tries to reboot his Premiership.

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