BoJo to reveal ‘defence dossier’ tomorrow ahead of partygate showdown

Joanna Simpson event held by Carrie Johnson. Westminster Chapel. London Boris Johnson Pictures by Dan Charity 01-03-23

BORIS Johnson will tomorrow release his defence dossier ahead of his partygate probe showdown.

Allies of the former prime minister insist the bombshell documents will vindicate him – and prove he did not knowingly mislead MPs over lockdown gatherings at the heart of government.

Boris Johnson is due to give evidence to the partygate probe on Wednesday

It came as one of his close colleagues warned against a McCarthy-style “witch hunt” against him led by enemies determined to bring him down for good.

The powerful privileges committee will on Monday publish the former PM’s legal advice and line-by-line today ahead of Wednesday’s marathon telly grilling in front of MPs.

BoJo is expected to lift the lid on the advice he received from his top team and will argue he relied on officials in No10 to defend himself from a barrage of attacks.

A spokesperson for the ex-PM said:  “The privileges committee will vindicate Boris Johnson’s position. 

“The evidence will show that Boris Johnson did not knowingly mislead parliament.”

Meanwhile, Tory peer Lord Greenhalgh – who is close to BoJo – said the powerful privileges probe “should not go ahead” if there’s no “fairness”.

It came after allies said his grilling was a “show trial… that Stalin would be ashamed of”.

He told Times Radio: “I’m concerned that it will be a witch hunt […] I’m concerned that we’re going to get a McCarthyite approach to justice on the Privileges Committee. 

“I certainly hope that Parliament goes through the process properly, and that the former Prime Minister should get a fair and just hearing. We want swift justice.. so my call is for fairness, really, and that the scales of justice are carried out.

“To prove [he was] knowingly misleading parliament – that will be difficult for this, folks.” 

Earlier this month an initial update from the Committee said Mr Johnson may have misled Parliament multiple times – something he denies.

The marathon session – which could last up to five hours – will see a group of MPs grill him on what he knew and when.

The ex-PM, Rishi Sunak and dozens of others were fined for lockdown gatherings in Downing Street during lockdown.

If BoJo is found guilty of misleading Parliament he could be suspended from the Commons, or even face a recall petition in his Uxbridge seat.

Former chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng suggested the “hugely intelligent, sensitive, brilliant” Mr Johnson could still mount a political comeback and return to lead the party.

He told GB News “he’s been written off so many times” but “he is someone who I would never rule out or count out”.

Yesterday Cabinet minister Oliver Dowden confirmed that MPs would have a free vote on the matter when it comes to them.

He told the BBC Mr Johnson will “put forward a robust defence of his conduct” and insisted that PM Rishi Sunak “respects” his predecessor.