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No 10 refuses to say if Sunak will be present for vote on latest report condemning Johnson allies

Downing Street has refused to say if the Prime Minister will be present for a vote on the latest report linked to the Boris Johnson Partygate row.

MPs will be asked on Monday to approve the latest report from the Privileges Committee, which has condemned a number of senior Tories and accused them of trying to undermine its inquiry.

The report, published two weeks ago, names the former Commons Leader Jacob Rees Mogg and ex-Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries among 10 people it accuses of a “co-ordinated campaign of interference” with the committee’s inquiry into Mr Johnson’s conduct.

No 10 refused to say whether Rishi Sunak would be present for the debate, with a spokeswoman saying that the PM’s diary would be outlined at the mid-morning briefing of journalists.

The vote is free, meaning MPs are able to vote how they wish rather than under party lines.

Mr Sunak abstained over the committee’s main report last month which found Mr Johnson misled Parliament. He was otherwise engaged meeting the Prime Minister of Sweden at Downing Street.

On Monday, the Prime Minister is due to meet the US President, Joe Biden, for talks. But No 10 was unable to say whether this would mean he would not be free to attend Parliament at the time of the vote.

The committee’s initial inquiry into Mr Johnson concluded he had knowingly misled MPs over parties that took place in Downing Street during the Covid-19 lockdowns.

His allies accused the committee, from the beginning, of being a witch-hunt and claimed prominent members of it had an agenda.

Following the conclusion of the partygate inquiry, the committee published a special report accusing the group of putting deliberate pressure on its members, which caused “significant personal impact” and “security concerns”.

The motion, due to be debated and voted on today, states that MPs should not impugn the integrity of the committee when it is conducting an investigation.

It says MPs note “with approval” the special report and agree “Members of this House should not impugn the integrity of that Committee or its members or attempt to lobby or intimidate those members or to encourage others to do so, since such behaviour undermines the proceedings of the House and is itself capable of being a contempt”.

The Liberal Democrats are proposing an amendment which, if passed, would lead to sanctions for MPs named in the report, as decided by the committee.

A separate amendment, led by the former Home Secretary, Priti Patel, is seeking to tone down the accusations against the MPs by removing the suggestion that their behaviour “impugn[ed] the integrity” of the committee.

Ms Patel is also seeking to delete the section of the motion stating that MPs “note with approval” the report.

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