MPs have agreed Prime Minister Boris Johnson should face a parliamentary investigation into whether he lied about Downing Street parties during Covid lockdown.
It comes after the Government was forced to abandon an attempt to order Conservative MPs to force a delay in setting up any investigation as the scale of discontent on the Tory backbenches became clear.
The investigation, that will be carried out by the Privileges Committee, is expected to be approved – however it will not start until police inquiries have concluded.
Knowingly misleading Parliament is a resigning offence under government rules.
Johnson – who is away from the Commons on an official visit to India – insisted he was content to face extra scrutiny, with the parliamentary investigation adding to inquiries conducted by the Metropolitan Police and senior civil servant Sue Gray.
But it will mean the partygate scandal is prolonged.
Johnson apologised at least 35 times in less than two hours on Tuesday after he was hit by a fixed penalty notice by police for lockdown breaches.
However, the PM has insisted that he did not knowingly mislead Parliament when he previously told MPs that “all guidance was followed completely” in Downing Street.
At the height of the Covid pandemic in June 2020, Johnson attended a birthday gathering in the Cabinet Room at 10 Downing Street.
A number of illegal gatherings were held across No 10 and Whitehall at a time when people across the country were unable to see friends and family.
The Metropolitan Police has issued at least 50 fixed penalty notices to those in attendance at such gatherings.