Boris Johnson told to pay own Partygate fees to save taxpayer money

Boris Johnson erupts at ‘complete nonsense’ in Partygate grilling

Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson is facing calls to pay for his £245,000 Partygate legal fees himself, with Labour MP Karl Turner claiming that it is “inappropriate” for the taxpayer to foot the bill.

A new poll has shown almost two-thirds of readers agree that Mr Johnson should pay.

In an early day motion, Mr Turner urged the House of Commons to intervene, highlighting Mr Johnson’s earnings and that members of the public are not automatically entitled to legal aid if they earn over £12,475. He wrote that it is “unacceptable that taxpayers are being forced to foot the bill, not least given that the Rt hon. Member has earned a reported £5 million since he stepped down as Prime Minister”.

He added that it is “inappropriate for public funds to be used in this manner, not least during a cost of living crisis in which most families are struggling to manage”.

The legal fees in question are for Mr Johnson’s defence as part of the Privileges Committee’s probe into the Partygate scandal. The outcome of the inquiry is expected to be published at the end of May and could decide his political future. Mr Johnson denies the allegations.

In a poll that ran from 3pm on Monday, May 22, to 1.30pm on Tuesday, May 23, asked readers: “Should Boris Johnson pay his own Partygate legal fees?”

A total of 2,898 readers responded with the vast majority, 65 percent (1,879 people) answering “yes” compared with 35 percent (1,002 people) who said “no” he should not. A further 17 people said they did not know.

Hundreds of comments were left below the accompanying article as readers debated who should foot the bill.

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Many readers commented that Mr Johnson should pay the legal fees, with username gettingwarmer writing: “Of course he should, why is there even any question about it?”

Similarly, username leafspot said: “Of course he should, it’s a ridiculous concept otherwise.”

While others argued that he can afford to pay with username philippvonboeselager remarking: “£5million in earnings so far, this year. Yes, he should pay.”

However, other readers thought that taxpayers should be responsible for the costs incurred. Username Beanyboy2802 explained: “It was parliamentary business. He was called as a member of Parliament, to appear before the Parliamentary Committee, to provide evidence as part of a Parliamentary investigation. Why should he personally foot the bill?”

Another, username mabel, agreed: “If Boris Johnson, was appearing before a court of law I would have said yes he should pay for his defence. But as he was appearing before the privileges committee I say no.”

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