Ex-Labour frontbencher Harriet Harman appointed to lead partygate probe into Boris Johnson

Angry voter says 'shame on him' as she slams Boris for Partygate

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The Commons Privileges Committee yesterday issued a call for witnesses to come forward with evidence of the Prime Minister’s knowledge of covid rule-breaking drinking sessions in Number 10.

Ms Harman, a former acting leader of the Labour Party, was unanimously elected to chair the committee, which will be advised by Sir Ernest Ryder, a former lord justice of appeal.

Committee members ruled that Downing Street staff will be able to give anonymous evidence to their key investigation.

The committee said it expects oral evidence sessions to begin in the autumn, meaning the inquiry will hang over Mr Johnson’s head for months.

Evidence suggesting Mr Johnson had knowledge of the gatherings during the coronavirus pandemic or of any inquiries he made about them were suggested as relevant to the inquiry.

The MPs gave until July 29 for witnesses to come forward and evidence to be presented, saying it can be submitted to the committee website.

Ms Harman was widely expected to be chosen as the chair, after Labour’s Chris Bryant stepped aside to ensure fairness because of his previous criticism of Mr Johnson.

The 71-year-old MP for Camberwell and Peckham was first elected in 1982. Her husband, the Labour MP Jack Dromey, died suddenly in January.

The committee is comprised of seven MPs, four Tories, two from Labour and one from the SNPs.

Their investigation will consider Mr Johnson’s statements including, but not limited to, him insisting in December last year that “all guidance was followed in No 10”.

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