Live Blog: Privileges Committee’s Partygate Inquiry

Stay tuned for all the top quotes and clips below…

1715 – We’re done.

17:09 – Charles Walker asks Boris if he thinks the Committee is a Kangaroo Court…

16:50 – Whilst berating Johnson’s assurances, Harriet Harman asked “if I was going at 100mph and I saw the speedometer saying 100mph – it would be a bit odd, wouldn’t it, if I said somebody assured me that I wasn’t?”. A peculiar choice of metaphor – coming from Harriet. Would this be the same Harriet Harman caught speeding twice, banned from driving for seven days and fined £400?

16:28 – Boris on why he didn’t correct the record sooner: “no one was advising me to correct the record”

16:27 – When asked about Number 10’s social distancing measures, Boris says “We didn’t touch each other’s pens”. After questioning from Harman, he admits they did pass drinks glasses around.

16:18 –  Boris: Receiving a fixed penalty notice “boggled my mind”

16:16 – On why he didn’t inform the House of guidance breaches after Stratton video became public, Johnson says “in my mind at the time… I thought these were work events”.

15:56 – Boris insists he didn’t see the BYOB email. He thought garden drinks were to thank staff.

15:53 – Boris: People who say that we were partying in lockdown simply do not know what they are talking about

15:45 – Boris says rule breaking was so “unobvious” to those at the “birthday party” that the whole thing was briefed to Times.

15:33 – The Former PM denies making publicised joke about failing to socially distance.

15:07 – Boris repeats he thought farewell events were essential and necessary for work purposes in that they kept up morale.

15:00 – Boris says chief-of-staff leaving in acrimonious circumstances meant his being at work leaving event was essential for work purposes / harmony of workplace. Points to fact he was not fined for this event, famous photographs of which were taken by the official No.10 photographer.

14:47 – Boris: “There was a near universal belief at Number 10 that the rules and guidance were being complied with” 

14:37 – Boris says elements of the committee are peculiar. He points to Harriet Harman’s “prejudicial” comments.

14:35 – We’re back.

14:21 – Committee is suspended for Stormont Brake vote.

14:19 – Boris says the Committee must publish all evidence, rather than withholding that which he is relying on in his defence, he argues “That is manifestly unfair”.

14:18 – Boris argues Cummings’ testimony cannot be relied upon – “He has every motive to lie”.

14:15 – Boris: “hand on heart, I did not lie to the house”.

14:13 – Boris is sworn in and begins his opening statement.

14:09 – Harman says Sue Gray is not a witness.

14:06 – Harman introduces, claiming “we leave our party interests at the door”.

14:02 – Boris has arrived.

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