• Melina Rauter

Voters could force by-election in Uxbridge if Boris Johnson is suspended

Boris Johnson might be obliged to stand in a by-election in his Uxbridge and South Ruislip constituency if it is determined that he misled MPs over Partygate.

Despite having resigned as Prime Minister, Mr Johnson still faces a parliamentary probe over what he told MPs about the events that took place in Downing Street during the pandemic.

The House of Commons Privileges Committee has detailed a number of protocols and processes that will guide its investigation into the conduct of the Rt Hon. Boris Johnson MP in a report that was recently released.

The report published on Thursday July 21, outlines how it will conduct its investigation, confirming that witnesses will be questioned “under oath” or “in the case of written evidence accompanied by a statement of truth”. The committee will commence taking oral testimony in the autumn, including from the outgoing Prime Minister himself.

If Mr Johnson is found to have been in contempt of parliament and the committee punishes him by suspending him from the House of Commons, it might result in the Recall Act, according to a ruling acquired by the committee from Speaker Lindsay Hoyle.

In accordance with this law, MPs who have been expelled from the House of Commons for a period of 10 sitting days or more, or who have received a prison sentence, may be forced to stand in a by-election if 10% of the voters in their constituency sign a petition calling for one.

This means residents of his Uxbridge and South Ruislip constituency could force a by-election to fill the seat.

As well as affirming the potential sanctions against Mr Johnson, the privileges committee clearly states from the legal advice obtained from the House of Common Clerks that Mr Johnson does not have to intentionally misled MPs in order to be judged to have deceived the House, and as a result, to have held the Commons in contempt.