What a torrid day for the Tories. Debating has begun in Parliament on the privileges committee report which concluded that Boris Johnson knowingly and recklessly misled the Commons – even Ian McKellan has turned up with his binoculars!

Looking rather lonely on the front bench, Penny Mordaunt opened the debate by outlining her respect for the powers of parliament to hold the government to account and said that she would vote in favour of the conclusions of the privileges committee report.

The report by the Tory-majority committee, led by Harriet Harman, concluded that a 90-day suspension would have been the requisite punishment for Johnson. However, because he stood down, the recommended punishment was adapted to exclude Johnson from attaining a former members’ pass. 

The official response from the opposite benches came from Shadow Leader of the Commons, Thangam Debbonaire. She went on and on about just how deplorable Johnson’s actions had been, and how weak Rishi Sunak has made himself look by abstaining from the vote. 

The next notable moment came from former PM Theresa May. She gave her wholehearted support for the committee, and its honesty and integrity in the face of slurs and criticism from the Boris lobby. Harriet Harman responded to May in an (all too) friendly way saying she agreed with every word May had said and joked that they not only shared the same opinions, but the same necklace.  

Support for Johnson was pretty thin on the ground. Lia Nici, Conservative MP for Great Grimsby, tried hard but was consistently shouted over as she tried to make her case against the report. 

Boris Johnson is not the only Tory leader that has come in for some grilling today. The Covid inquiry questioned David Cameron on whether his austerity policies had left a weakened NHS to deal with the outbreak of the pandemic. The former PM admitted that too much preparation had been misplaced on potential flu-like pandemics rather than viruses like SARS and MERS. 

And another Tory ex-leader Liz Truss was in the news. Truss’s failures were also dredged back up today at a conference in Dublin where she couldn’t see the funny side of the Daily Star’s lettuce stunt. She said that the newspaper’s prank where it live-streamed a lettuce outlasting her premiership was “puerile”. 

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