Garden party: Liaison Committee must grill PM after he ducks debate

The Liberal Democrats have called for an emergency meeting of the Liaison Committee, to allow MPs to grill Boris Johnson on the latest revelations about the Number 10 garden party held in May 2020.

It comes after the Prime Minister refused to attend today’s Urgent Question in Parliament on the issue, instead sending Paymaster General Michael Ellis in his place.

The Liberal Democrat Chief Whip Wendy Chamberlain has written to Bernard Jenkin, chair of the Liaison Committee, calling on him to hold an emergency session as soon as possible to ask Boris Johnson questions about his role in the event and whether he attended.

The letter warns that Boris Johnson is “hiding behind the smokescreen” of the Sue Gray’s inquiry, adding that the idea he has to wait until the probe is complete before saying whether he attended the party is “taking the British people for fools.”

The Liaison Committee is made up of select committee chairs, and is the only committee which takes evidence from the Prime Minister on a regular basis.

Liberal Democrat Chief Whip Wendy Chamberlain said: “Boris Johnson cannot be allowed to hide the truth from the public and Parliament any longer. He is using Sue Gray’s inquiry as a smokescreen and hoping this issue will just go away.

Wendy Chamberlain

“That simply won’t wash at a time when the public is clamouring for answers, and when it appears that Boris Johnson misled Parliament.

“We need an emergency session now of the Liaison Committee so MPs can grill Boris Johnson, find out what role he had in organising this party and whether he attended.

“Parliament has a critical role to play in holding the Prime Minister to account. MPs have a duty to the public to do just that.”

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