While MPs voted to condemn Boris Johnson yesterday evening, the former Prime Minister refused to go down without having the final word.
Mr Johnson used a speech to a private political gathering to fire off a final damning criticism of Harriet Harman’s Privileges Committee ahead of MPs deciding to strip him of his right to a parliamentary pass.
Speaking at an event for the International Democratic Union in central London, Mr Johnson blasted the committee as “biased and willfully ignorant”.
He also reiterated his tantalising promise of a political return, telling the adoring crowd that there is “always another innings”.
One supportive Tory MP in attendance at the speech fired back at Labour MP Stella Creasy, who had attacked him on Twitter for failing to vote on the Privileges Committee report.
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Posting a photo of Mr Johnson speaking, Brendan Clarke-Smith shot back: “Sorry to disappoint you Stella, but I’ve been in London all day and had a better offer than having to listen to some of the pious speeches in the half-empty Commons today.
“Far better speeches here with some real democrats.”
This morning Mr Johnson posted a photo of the event himself, saying: “Fantastic energy in the room for the opening reception at the 40th IDU Alliance conference.
“Let’s back democracy against autocracy everywhere we find it.”
It’s understood that despite his usual costly speaking fees, Mr Johnson did not charge for the speech.
The news of Boris Johnson’s remarks comes as it’s reported he’s now moving into “watching and waiting mode”.
It’s expected the former PM will begin to reduce his commentary on day-to-day politics amid a desire to “de-escalate tensions with the Government”.
According to a source close to the former PM: “He believes that his long-term interests are best served by refraining from agitating. He’s in watching and waiting mode.
“But all of this is conditional on the Sunak government leaving him alone.”
The Times also confirms previous reports that Mr Johnson has “all but given up on making a political comeback before the next election”.
Less than a fortnight ago, Mr Johnson’s resignation statement damned Mr Sunak’s government for not being properly Conservative.
The promise to “refrain from agitating” therefore looks like a significant de-escalation of tensions between the pair.
While most Tory MPs abstained in last night’s vote, 118 Tory MPs backed it – including eight members of the Cabinet.
Neither the PM, the deputy PM, Chancellor, Foreign Secretary nor Home Secretary voted.