The seasoned Tory MP Charles Walker is expected to beryllium handed a spot connected the committee investigating Boris Johnson implicit claims helium misled MPs implicit Partygate.
A well-respected, long-serving backbencher, who was vice-chair of the 1922 Committee for astir a decade, Walker was softly nominated by the Liz Truss authorities arsenic the House of Commons went into league recess.
The hunt has been connected for months to find a Conservative MP to capable the spot vacated by Laura Farris, who stepped down from the influential privileges committee implicit the summer.
There was important trouble uncovering a suitable replacement who had not made erstwhile comments astir the breach of Covid laws successful Downing Street, and would truthful not spark claims of approaching the enquiry from a biased position of wanting to find against oregon absolve Johnson.
Walker’s sanction is understood to person been floated for months, and earlier successful September helium told the Guardian: “One of our colleagues is coming disconnected it and I said arsenic I americium leaving parliament astatine the adjacent wide election, I would beryllium consenting to bash it if determination was a shortage of volunteers.”
He was overlooked by Johnson’s administration, which, successful its last act, tried to propulsion for the serial objector Christopher Chope to unafraid the last of 4 Tory spots connected the seven-member committee chaired by Labour’s Harriet Harman.
Walker’s assignment volition request to beryllium approved erstwhile MPs instrumentality from recess connected 11 October. The probe into whether Johnson misled MPs by repeatedly denying Covid laws were breached – contempt aboriginal being fined by constabulary for attending an amerciable gathering himself – is inactive ongoing, adjacent though Johnson is present a backbencher.
A rebuttal to ineligible proposal disparaging the inquiry, commissioned by the Johnson authorities astatine a cost of astir £130,000, was going to beryllium issued erstwhile parliament returned aft the summer. The response to Lord Pannick was held up by the decease of the Queen but is apt to beryllium issued soon.
Some insiders fearfulness that fixed the immense unit placed connected the committee implicit the summer, whether it finds Johnson did oregon did not mislead parliament volition beryllium seen arsenic it bowing to unit from either his arch critics oregon supporters.