Boris-backing Lord hits out at ‘snobbery’ of ‘kangaroo court’ over abuse claim

Penny Mordaunt defends colleagues over Boris vote

A prominent supporter of Boris Johnson has hit out at the “snobs” on the Privileges Committee as they tried to censure him over criticism of its report into the former Prime Minister.

The committee has published a report into the Tory MPs and a peer Lord Cruddas claiming that they were guilty of “contempt of Parliament” for attacks they made on the committee and its members.

The committee has objected to descriptions of its proceedings against Johnson as “a show trial” and MPs calling it a “kangaroo court” among other things.

In a sinister move, MPs named in the report, including Jacob Rees-Mogg and Nadine Dorries, were given no warning of the findings beforehand.

But Lord Cruddas today has come out fighting making it clear he does not accept the findings or the committee’s authority.

He said: “The Committee of Privileges is a House of Commons committee. It simply does not have the power to sanction people who aren’t MPs. The House of Lords is an independent body. Once again it has embarrassed Parliament by not understanding basic law.

“The idea I ‘intimidated’ a committee of supposedly grown-up individuals is a nonsense.

“Worse frankly, it is defamatory of me and I suspect it is yet more snobbery directed at someone from the working class who has succeeded in life from these career politicians.

“Based on their ‘logic’ they are intimidating me and committing contempt of the House of Lords. If they don’t want people noticing they are a kangaroo court then they should hop less.”

READ MORE: Fears Boris allies on ‘punishment’ list with MP targeted over kangaroo tie

The report claims members of parliament have no “right” to “attempt to undermine an inquiry or bring pressure to bear on the members of the Privileges Committee during the inquiry”.

“An attack on the procedures of the House and on the impartial officers and advisers who support those processes is an attack on the legitimacy of Parliament itself”.

The committee claims the attacks on them raised security concerns among members of the Privileges Committee.

They say “It will be for the House to consider what further action, if any, to take in respect of Members of the House referred to in this special report”. 

Those named in the report are:

  • Nadine Dorries
  • Lord Goldsmith
  • Mark Jenkinson
  • Michael Fabricant
  • Brendan Clarke-Smith
  • Jacob Rees-Mogg 
  • Andrea Jenkyns
  • Priti Patel

They also name the Conservative Post, who got supporters of Boris to email members of the committee, as an example of “selective pressure”.

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One MP named in the report said that the committee’s decision to leak to the Guardian is in itself “a contempt of Parliament” further questioning the report.

The Boris Johnson supporting Conservative Democratic Organisation for grassroots, which many of the parliamentarians who support Mr Johnson belong to, has also issued a statement condemning the undemocratc nature of the committee and its actions.

It said: “The Conservative Democratic Organisation (CDO) is a representation of the grassroots membership of the Conservative Party across the UK.

“Our members remain concerned over the continued vilification of democratically elected Members of Parliament who have dared to speak freely and uphold the great British tradition of freedom of expression and opinion.

“Our members are also troubled by the vilification that has come from certain members of a Parliamentary Committee who are now themselves subject to police investigations and reports which malign their own reputations.

“Our democracy faces serious challenges when the power of a Parliamentary committee overrides the democratic will and interests of the public.

“The CDO will always champion democracy and the primacy of the Party’s grassroots membership.”

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