Penny Mordaunt defends colleagues over Boris vote
An MP who wore a kangaroo tie on the day the controversial Privileges Committee report into Boris Johnson was debated by MPs believes he may now be facing disciplinary action, according to friends.
Conservative Bassetlaw MP Brendan Clarke-Smith, a strong supporter of Mr Johnson, decided to boycott the debate where MPs voted that the former Prime Minister should have faced a 90-day suspension had he not resigned as an MP.
In an apparent nod to Mr Johnson’s claim that the committee was “a kangaroo court” Mr Clarke-Smith instead pictured himself wearing a tie with kangaroos on it.
However, the MP said it was because he was on his way to watch the first Ashes cricket test between England and Australia.
Nevertheless, it is believed he may be on a secret list of MPs who are set to be punished for criticising the committee.
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A friend of Mr Clarke-Smith said: “Brendan was very unhappy with the report but he withheld publicly saying anything critical of the committee until after the report was voted on.
“He should not be on any list of people being punished.
“But he’s been told that his choice of tie on the day of debate has offended the precious, thin-skinned MPs on the committee.
“They showed they were vindictive in treating Boris and now they are being vindictive against MPs who exercised their free speech to criticise them.”
The committee also punished Mr Johnson by recommending he cannot have a former MP’s pass, claiming that he deliberately misled Parliament.
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MPs were warned that criticism of the committee could end up with them being hauled before it and punished.
Punishment could vary from a warning to actual suspension from the House of Commons.
It is unlikely any MP would be given more than 10 days which could trigger a by-election.
A number of supporters of Mr Johnson could fall foul of the committee including Nadine Dorries who has still not gone through with her threat to resign as an MP.
The Privileges Committee did not give a formal response.
A source close to the committee said: “The Committee will not engage with speculation about what any report agreed by the Committee might or might not contain. When the report is agreed, it will be published shortly.”
The source also pointed to paragraph 14 of the report on Mr Johnson.
It said: “We came to the view that some of Mr Johnson’s denials and explanations were so disingenuous that they were by their very nature deliberate attempts to mislead the Committee and the House, while others demonstrated deliberation because of the frequency with which he closed his mind to the truth.”
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