What a trying day it has been for the Conservatives. Parliament has began debating the privileges committee report, which came to the conclusion that Boris Johnson intentionally and willfully deceived the House of Commons — even Ian McKellan has shown up with his binoculars to participate in the discussion. Penny Mordaunt, who appeared to be sitting very alone on the front bench, started the discussion by expressing her admiration for the powers of parliament to hold the administration accountable and announcing that she would vote in favour of the conclusions of the privileges committee report. She also appeared to be feeling rather lonely.
According to the findings of the report compiled by the committee with a majority of Conservative members, chaired by Harriet Harman, Johnson should have been suspended for a period of ninety days. In spite of this, the recommended punishment was modified so that Johnson would not be eligible for a pass reserved for former members. This was done since he retracted his statement. Thangam Debbonaire, the Shadow Leader of the Commons, was the one who provided the official response on behalf of the opposing benches. She went on and on about how horrible Johnson’s behaviour had been and how Rishi Sunak had made himself look weak by abstaining from the vote. She also went on about how Rishi Sunak should be ashamed of himself.
The next significant event came from Theresa May, who had previously served as Prime Minister. In response to the insults and abuse levelled at the committee by the Boris lobby, she declared her unwavering support for the committee, as well as its honesty and integrity. May received a response from Harriet Harman, who greeted her in an overly pleasant manner, and said that she agreed with everything that May had said. She also made a joke about the fact that they had the same ideas and the same jewellery. The number of people that backed Johnson was not particularly high. When Lia Nici, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Great Grimsby, made an effort to argue against the report, she was repeatedly interrupted and shouted down by her colleagues.
Today, several other Conservative party leaders besides Boris Johnson have been subjected to intense questioning from the media. David Cameron was questioned by the Covid probe regarding the possibility that his policies of austerity had resulted in a weakened National Health Service (NHS) to deal with the advent of the pandemic. The former prime minister acknowledged that an excessive amount of planning had been misdirected towards hypothetical pandemics caused by influenza-like illnesses rather than viruses such as SARS and MERS.
And another former Tory leader, Liz Truss, was recently featured in the media. At a meeting that took place today in Dublin, Truss’s shortcomings were brought up again, and it was pointed out that she did not find the Daily Star’s lettuce prank to be humorous. She called the newspaper’s joke, in which it live-streamed a head of lettuce outliving her premiership, a “puerile” joke.