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Peston: Tory grandee 'expects' MPs to pass motion on Boris partygate investigation TODAY

NewsPeston: Tory grandee 'expects' MPs to pass motion on Boris partygate investigation TODAY

Andrew Mitchell, who has been the MP for the safe seat of Sutton Coldfield since 2001, joined ITV’s Robert Peston to discuss ‘partygate’ and the UK Government immigration scheme with Rwanda. During his appearance on ITV’s flagship political programme, the former chief whip suggested he thought MPs would pass a motion to refer the Prime Minister for investigation over whether he misled the House of Commons over ‘partygate’.

MPs will vote later today to decide whether to refer Mr Johnson for a formal investigation conducted by Parliament’s Privileges Committee.

Speaker Lindsay Hoyle, who succeeded John Bercow after the 2019 general election, granted time for the debate and vote after receiving several letters from MPs, including Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer.

The Chorley MP said: “Having considered the issue, having taken advice from the clerks of the House, I have decided that this is a matter that I should allow the precedence accorded to the issue of privilege.”

Mr Johnson, who maintains he did not knowingly mislead Parliament, told the Commons made four statements in December which Labour claims have turned out not to be accurate.

The Prime Minister even said on December 8: “I have been repeatedly assured since these allegations emerged that there was no party and that no Covid rules were broken.”

JUST IN: Peston: Rayner blasts Boris for ‘spending months’ trying to defend himself over partygate

The motion comes just a week after the Prime Minister and his Chancellor Rishi Sunak were issued with fixed penalty notices for attending Mr Johnson’s birthday event in the Cabinet Room in June 2020.

However, in a further blow to Mr Johnson, David Cameron’s former International Development Secretary has told Peston the motion could be passed later today.

Mr Mitchell said: “I don’t think there will be a vote tomorrow, I think the House of Commons will agree to refer it to the Privileges committee.”

When asked if he was definitely expecting that decision tomorrow, he added: “Yes, that’s what I am expecting… I just don’t expect there to be a vote – I shan’t be there, quite a lot of my colleagues are heading off either tonight or tomorrow morning to their constituencies.

READ MORE: Peston: Angela Rayner slams ‘ridiculous’ PM over attempts to whip MPs ahead of vote

“I’ll be voting with my Conservative colleagues because I think that the motion is unnecessary.

“The Prime Minister gave a full apology to the House of Commons … he acknowledged the hurt and the stress that so many people will feel.

“And I think that people will vote as they will, but I think the Prime Minister’s apology – I know from working with him – was heartfelt.”

Mr Peston and Mr Mitchell were joined on ITV’s flagship political programme by co-host Anushka Asthana, Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey, Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner, Labour MP Bell Ribeiro-Addy, ex-Number 10 adviser Nick Timothy and screenwriter Richard Curtis.

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