British lawmakers on Thursday ordered a parliamentary investigation into Prime Minister Boris Johnson for allegedly lying about whether he broke coronavirus restrictions by attending illegal gatherings during the pandemic.
The move, approved by cries of “aye” and without a formal vote in the House of Commons, means Parliament’s Committee of Privileges will investigate whether Johnson knowingly misled Parliament — historically a resigning offense if proven.
The probe piles more pressure on a Conservative prime minister whose grip on power has been shaken by claims he flouted the pandemic rules he imposed on the country, then repeatedly failed to own up to it.
The move was instigated by the opposition Labour Party and passed after the government abandoned efforts to get Conservative lawmakers to block it. Johnson’s Conservatives have a substantial majority in Parliament, but many lawmakers are uneasy with the prime minister’s behavior.
Labour leader Keir Starmer said the move sought to uphold “the simple principle that honesty, integrity and telling the truth matter in our politics.”