- Boris Johnson will be asked to give evidence under oath as part of a new probe into partygate.
- The outgoing prime minister will be told to answer questions from Parliament's Privileges Committee.
- Johnson could be made to stand down as an MP if he is found to have knowingly misled the Commons.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will be summoned to give evidence under oath on whether he lied over so-called partygate as part of a fresh investigation into the affair, Parliament's Privileges Committee said in a report published Thursday.
Johnson, who is due to leave office on September 6, will be invited to speak to MPs on the committee this autumn.
Partygate is the name given to the scandal surrounding repeated lockdown-busting parties, including some attended by Johnson. He received a fixed penalty notice from the police earlier this year for attending an illegal gathering in Downing Street, making him the first sitting prime minister to be found to have broken the law.
In documents published Thursday, the panel of seven MPs, which includes four Conservatives, said: "The Committee will take oral evidence from Mr Johnson.
"At evidence sessions, Mr Johnson and any other witness may be accompanied by a legal or other adviser, and may take advice from them during the session, but must answer in person."
Johnson has already been ordered to hand over records including photos, emails, door logs, and diaries for the days in which he attended lockdown-busting parties.
As well as Johnson, witnesses who "wish to remain anonymous" can also give evidence about whether he lied, the committee said.
The committee insisted its investigation was still necessary, despite the fact that Johnson is leaving Downing Street, because it will consider "whether the House was misled, and political developments are of no relevance to that."
The Privileges Committee can find MPs in contempt of Parliament for "deliberately misleading" the Commons and recommend they are suspended.
Committee chairman and Labour MP Chris Bryant, who recused himself from the probe in April, has said that the MPs will only have to prove Johnson "knowingly" misled Parliament, not that he deliberately did so.
Intent will not be relevant for considering whether there was a contempt of Parliament, the committee's report said
Johnson could be made to resign as MP
While he has already been made to resign as prime minister, Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle confirmed that the committee's findings would fall within the remit of the Recall of MPs Act, meaning Johnson could be ousted from Parliament if found to have knowingly misled Parliament.
MPs who are suspended for at least 10 sitting days have a "recall petition" automatically triggered against them. If at least 10% of local voters sign the petition, the MP is automatically ejected.
Johnson sparked speculation that he may be planning a comeback during Wednesday's Prime Minister's Questions, when he told MPs "hasta la vista, baby" — a quote from the Terminator franchise, which is also known for another famous quote: "I'll be back."
He also said: "Mission accomplished — for now".
But there is also speculation he may stand down as an MP — a prospect his spokesperson has refused to rule out.
The committee published its report as the Conservative Party leadership contest moves beyond Parliament to Tory party members.
MPs on Wednesday whittled down the candidates to Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss, and the decision of who will be the new prime minister is now in the hands of a few thousand people. The party had 180,000 members as of 2019, according to then-party chairman Brandon Lewis.