North Herefordshire MP Sir Bill Wiggin has explained why he opted not to support the “draconian” Partygate report into former Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

The Commons voted yesterday (June 20) on whether to accept the Privileges Committee report published last week, which found that Mr Johnson “deliberately misled” both the House of Commons and the committee itself by claiming his office had broken no rules during the pandemic lockdown.

The report’s recommendation that Mr Johnson be suspended from Parliament for 90 days was pre-empted by the former Prime Minister resigning his seat.


After a debate lasting over five hours, MPs last night backed the report by 354 votes to seven.

Sir Bill said afterwards: “I listened to the debate because, although I wanted to support my colleagues on the committee, unfortunately the recommendations were draconian, particularly in comparison to the Margaret Ferrier [the SNP MP recently suspended for 30 days for lockdown breaches] report.

“I was therefore reluctant to vote either for or against the report.”


He added: “I don’t think that any good will come from this, just as it didn’t when we had the weapons of mass destruction accusations about Sir Tony Blair.”

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak also did not vote in the division.

Sir Bill described Mr Johnson in the Commons last July, shortly before he stepped down as PM in September, as “a political communicator and leader of historic proportions”.

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Hereford and South Herefordshire MP Jesse Norman, previously also a close supporter of Mr Johnson’s, was among those voting to back the highly critical report.

Mr Norman had earlier been campaigning in Mr Johnson’s former constituency of Uxbridge and South Ruislip in west London, where local councillor Steve Tuckwell is bidding to hold the seat for the Conservatives in a byelection scheduled for July 20.

Neither MP spoke during the debate.