United Kingdom

Tory MPs vow to stop Boris Johnson being suspended from the House of Commons by rejecting watchdog

Tory MPs are vowing to prevent Boris Johnson from being suspended from the Commons over a ‘freebie’ holiday in Mustique with fiancee Carrie Symonds – by rejecting the verdict of Westminster’s standards watchdog.

They are threatening to take the extraordinary step of voting down the sanction if Kathryn Stone, the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, calls for it.

One senior Tory last night said the Prime Minister’s ‘mandate from the British people’ could not be overturned by a standards inquiry. ‘Which Red Wall Tory MP – elected in large part thanks to Mr Johnson – would accept a sanction to suspend him from the Commons?’ he asked

Reports yesterday claimed Ms Stone had accused the Prime Minister of failing to come clean over the real cost of his holiday in December 2019, suggesting it was twice as much as the £15,000 he declared in the Commons register of interests

Deputy leader Angela Rayner said: ‘There can’t be one rule for the PM and another for everyone else. If he has broken the rules again, he should face the same sanctions anyone else would expect.’

Another insisted that the party, which has a majority of 82 in the Commons, would simply not accept the verdict of an ‘unfair’ report.

But Labour MPs reacted in fury. Deputy leader Angela Rayner said: ‘There can’t be one rule for the PM and another for everyone else. If he has broken the rules again, he should face the same sanctions anyone else would expect.’

Reports yesterday claimed Ms Stone had accused the Prime Minister of failing to come clean over the real cost of his holiday in December 2019, suggesting it was twice as much as the £15,000 he declared in the Commons register of interests, and that the cost had not been met by Tory donor and Carphone Warehouse co-founder David Ross, as Mr Johnson claimed.

Mr Johnson is understood to have refused to accept her ruling and is trying to overturn it. He reportedly told Ms Stone that he got the villa for half price as a last-minute bargain.

One Tory MP voiced anger that Ms Stone’s exchanges with the Prime Minister had been leaked and warned that it ‘hardly bodes well’ for the conduct of other probes into how the PM financed the refurbishment of his Downing Street flat.

There is no suggestion of wrong-doing by Mr Ross, while Downing Street insisted that Mr Johnson had ‘transparently declared the benefit’ of the holiday and insisted that the Cabinet Office ‘was content it was appropriate’.

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